5 Reasons Government Agencies and Councils are adopting Digital Signatures


Government Departments and local councils have a responsibility to reduce operational costs and their carbon footprint while serving customers efficiently and keeping sensitive information such as personal details and data secure. The volume of paperwork and official forms in government departments and local council offices is staggering, so a move towards digitalization makes sense. 

Digital applications are increasingly replacing paper-based processes, both in business and public service. With automation, government agencies can ditch the paper-based processes and leave the cost and inefficiency involved in handling and storing paper documents in the past.  

Digital signatures are an important part of this process, as they are the electronic “fingerprints” that validate the authenticity and integrity of a digital document. The government of Singapore had the foresight to roll out a digital signature service for its residents and businesses in 2020, and the global pandemic has further accelerated governments’ digital transformation efforts.   

In February 2021, Casey Coleman published an article on the Washington Post which explains why many government agencies worldwide took the pandemic as a catalyst to accelerate their planned digital transformations and cloud services, as many were long overdue but often took years to implement. The only way is forward, and here’s why:  

1. Digitized Processes are more Efficient 

There are a lot of reasons for a government organization to go paperless and adopt digital signatures, with the most obvious one being cost efficiency. The savings on printing, postage and storing that mountain of paper add up fast, but digitalization can also save tons of time.  Organizations that go digital save hours on data entry and manual searches for records.  

The pandemic accelerated the digitalization process, as many government organizations turned to IT to solve new challenges such as remote working and surges in demand for certain services. An example of a government organization in the US that was previously paper based but shifted to digital is DeKalb County in Atlanta, Georgia.  

With the COVID-19 lockdowns, the previously paper-based organization chose to move to a completely virtual environment. It was a shift that translated to increased efficiency, as tracking documents electronically created the ability to move through internal processes much faster.  

Secured Signing offered DeKalb County an intuitive solution that provided signing workflow capabilities and streamlined the organization’s signing procedures. It now facilitates the organization’s entire signing workflow, from document creation and e-forms to configuring the signing process including reviewer, providing reminders and notifications, all with an advanced reporting tool. 

“We identified it as a solution to quickly adopt and provide a level of automation and continuity in various high traffic departments including Legal, Purchasing, Executive Offices, and Courts to sustain a smooth operation,” said Felicia Green, Deputy CIO at DeKalb County Government.

2. Creating a Seamless Experience 

Automating document processes may sound complicated, but it is simply an extension of the paper-based way of managing your documents. Document digitization and secure signing allows for a more sustainable, responsible, and streamlined administration. 

Digitizing creates a seamless experience that improves customer experience and in turn, keeps your staff happy. By removing pain-points created by paper-based processes, customers become accustomed to their ability to fill out and sign documents from their mobile device or the comfort of their own home. No more worrying about travel time, putting documents into envelopes and sending them off, or wondering if the documents have been delivered successfully. By modernizing your approach to document management, you free up time for all involved in the process, with more time to focus on other things that matter. 

Digital document management solutions for government agencies allow for easy access to information contained in files, which creates a smoother public service and a faster turnaround. It is efficient, convenient, easily accessible, and exceptionally secure.  

For customers, replacing manual processes and paper forms with digital workflows and secure online forms results in a faster response time and a significant reduction in errors and delays. Citizens of today have an appetite for more digitally enabled public services and many want to have more of a say in how and where these services are delivered. More about this here.  

3. Empowered Organizations with Improved Processes 

Document digitalization goes well beyond the simple goal of migrating paper into digital documents, although that is usually where it starts. With efficient use of forms as a data collection platform, maximization of data management between departments and regions is made possible.  

Government agencies and local councils typically center their efforts on four capabilities: services, processes, decisions, and data sharing. With an automated digital process, incoming digital applications will be automatically sent to the correct department allowing for a more transparent and streamlined process.  

If approvals, required documents or signatures are missing from the form, it will be identified by the software and either the document can’t be submitted, or the appropriate party will be notified. This type of efficiency significantly limits turnaround times spent on requesting documentation and reviewing applications between departments or back to the customer.  

By eliminating paper, you eliminate all the administrative tasks that come with it. Filing, posting, signing, filling out forms, following up with people, everything. A good digitized system will take care of all of that for you and will empower your team to get things done in time. 

4. Meet Sustainability Goals  

Matamata-Piako District Council in New Zealand began their transition to the digital space in 2016, when they realized it would be beneficial to hold their council meetings digitally. This included the meeting minutes, agendas, reports and contracts that need to be distributed to, and signed by, elected representatives.  

The organization’s main goal was to achieve an efficient green solution for circulating and approving documentation and items, which also helped them achieve their broader strategic sustainability goal to reduce carbon emissions. 

Following extensive research and reviews of other products over a couple of years, Matamata-Piako District Council selected Secured Signing as one of their main digital transformation partners and has been using the service since October 2019. The digital process for filling out forms and securely obtaining signatures has allowed them to meet their strategic sustainability goals. You can download the Matamata-Piako District Council Case Study here.

5. Solutions for Everyone 

Document digitalization, automation and secure digital signatures can be used by governments of all levels, from local/county/region through to state and federal. Of course, an organization won’t go paperless in a day. There’s a lot involved in the process. A good first step is to find a process that’s heavy with incoming documents, such as the Matamata-Piako District Council did with their meetings, then digitize it on the front end. 

It is however important for local councils and government organizations to not ignore those who may not have access to the internet or people who aren’t comfortable with technology to submit digital applications, pay bills online, or access online platforms.  

Where documentation digitization is becoming more mainstream, equal access to information and support for all demographics must still be prioritized. That’s why user-friendly FAQs and tutorials, along with having a responsive and knowledgeable tech support team in place is important to guide people through the system if need be.  

An investment in software that allows for secured document signing and to accept digital applications for matters such as building permits, licensing and secure online payments will pay itself back in no time due to the efficiencies it brings. The digital transformation of a government body can be challenging, but many public institutions around the world have discovered the rewards.  

How secure digital signing works  

Secured Signing has been at the forefront of the digital signing industry for over a decade and our software is full of innovative features. It provides a one-stop digital signature service that delivers a full range of form completion and eSigning capabilities.  

The digital signing platform provides a multitude of features: unlimited number of signers, templates and fillable forms, out-of-the-box security through PKI digital signatures, as well as notarization and video signing capabilities to ensure effective use across all departments. 

Using advanced personalized X509 PKI Digital Signature technology, it is more secure than a plain electronic signature, as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology is the only technology available today that ensures non-forgeable signatures. 

Secured Signing enables its users to use any device to capture their graphical signature, fill-in, sign, seal and verify documents anywhere, anytime. The solution streamlines operational processes, cuts back on expenses, expedites delivery cycles, improves staff efficiency, and enhances customer service in a more sustainable environment.  

If you would like more information about digital signing or have any questions about how our digital signing platform can benefit your organization, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Byron Shire Council selects Secured Signing as their Digital Signature provider

A comparison of digital signature providers led Byron Shire Council, an Australian local government organization, to select Secured Signing. The primary requirement for adopting a digital signature solution was for signing license and leases for properties.

The council’s rationalization for digitizing was around efficiency, removing paper, and saving time spent moving documents around internally and externally. The solution needed to integrate with their document management system, Content Manager. Colin had feedback from another Australian Council that the quality of integration between Secured Signing and Content Manager integration was a reason they had changed to Secured Signing, after previously being let down by another Digital Signature provider.

After doing their own due diligence and talking to surrounding councils, Byron Shire Council made the decision to go ahead with Secured Signing as their digital signature provider.

“Moving forward, we will expand on that current footprint. We want to expand the use of Secured Signing to new employees within the HR department, for employee contracts.”

                – Colin Baker, Manager Business Systems and Technology at Byron Shire Council.

“Secured Signing allows the council to get documents signed online which typically was a process that might take weeks to complete.”

The Secured Signing flexible pricing structure allowed Byron Shire Council to implement the solution across their organization on an as-needed, or on-demand, basis. This approach means that the council can start small and then look to scale up the digital signature solution.

“Organizations come to us with concerns around pricey technology contracts which is where we stand apart from our competitors,” says Geoff Thompson, Enterprise Sales Director at Secured Signing. “Our pricing is simple and based on the number of documents (or files) that you send for signing and the number of document owners/senders that you require to have access to Secured Signing’s digital signature platform.”

The Secured Signing onboarding process allowed for easy implementation for the Byron Shire Council’s teams. This was supplemented by the help guides that Secured Signing provides with two-minute videos demonstrating specific features within the platform. These videos assist in training and are easy to send off to whoever needs them.

“From a support point of view, your Customer Success Lead, Merita Valkeapaa, was great at providing training and ongoing support in the initial stages of implementation. There was an instance where we wanted to get a couple of other teams up and running so we scheduled an hour-long session, which we were happy to pay for. However, we were pleasantly surprised and advised that there would be no cost or consulting fee.”

Byron Shire Council says that Secured Signing gives them the ability to sign documents without having to physically send them around, monitor and track documents, trust that they are signed securely, saving money and time from an efficiency point of view.

“Secured Signing is an elegant solution to improve efficiency and go digital.”

About Secured Signing

Secured Signing provides a comprehensive and compliant Software as a Service platform that utilizes the secure, personalized, X509 PKI Digital Signature technology and enables the customization of a full range of eForm and eSignature capabilities.

Secured Signing was founded in 2008 by TME Consulting Ltd., a privately owned New Zealand company established in 2003. Secured Signing has built its activities based on the extensive knowledge and experience of its team of experts in the development of data security products and technology that serve a wide range of industries worldwide.

To learn more about Secured Signing visit

Lockyer Valley Regional Council enhances document security, visibility and efficiency with Secured Signing

Lockyer Valley Regional Council continues to use Secured Signing across the organisation as their Enterprise Digital Signing platform.

The Secured Signing platform allows the council to meet its document security requirements, gain visibility of documents that need to be signed, and improve time efficiency.


When evaluating digital signature providers, traceability of document flow was a key consideration.


“Definitely there is traceability with the audit trails but is also the completion emails being invaluable for records management with the right departments getting the right documents at the right time,” says Ajana Ranatunge, Coordinator ICT Projects and Business Operations for Lockyer Valley Regional Council. “From Payroll to HR, the workflows operate well and ensure nothing goes unnoticed.”


With the general workflows set up for their document signing processes, Secured Signing enabled staff to get things done efficiently and stress-free.


“Whether it’s certificates, community notifications, food licenses, we utilize Secured Signing everywhere in the organization. Working from home or getting a customer to sign a document has never been easier than with Secured Signing.”


Lockyer Valley Regional Council started off with a small group of people involving key personnel who were interested in using digital signatures for their specific use case of generating letters. It was a small project, but it was easy to see the opportunity that implementing a digital signature system would provide the organization.


The change management process for Lockyer Valley was straightforward as they had recently undertaken a Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint implementation prior to implementing Secured Signing.


“There was hesitation amongst some staff around implementation of digital signatures, but once we ran through the system and had a trial period, there was greater buy-in and adoption.”


Today, Lockyer Valley has 60 people using Secured Signing.


“At the end of the day, it is only the originator of the document that needs an account, and the other 300 staff can simply receive the documents and sign them. We do not even need to show people how to use the system. For example, when a new staff member joins, the product champion, or functional leaders as we call them, will undertake all the training.”


If the council did require support or additional training, Secured Signing were quick to respond.


“Additional feature requests have been developed by Secured Signing for the Council. Gal Thompson (CEO at Secured Signing) and Mike Eyal (Founder and CTO of Secured Signing) listened to our concerns and with quick turnaround, the features were available to Lockyer Valley Regional Council, as well as any user within the Secured Signing platform.”


Lockyer Valley Regional Council continues to use Secured Signing and has been seeing increased interest in the digital signature space. An example being local Australian councils approaching Ajana for a referral, which he is happy to give.


“We’ve started to see a readiness in many organizations to digitize their documents,” says Geoff Thompson, Enterprise Sales Director at Secured Signing. “This comes down to three main things- document and signature security, enabling staff to securely work from anywhere, and document flow efficiency. Secured Signing is more than a digital signature platform, it also helps businesses streamline their document processes, which is of great value, as seen in Lockyer Valley Regional Council’s case.”


For more information contact Secured Signing at www.securedsigning.com/contact

Secured Signing is approved and listed on the New Zealand All of Government (AoG) Marketplace

Secured Signing is excited to announce their listing on the All of Government (AOG) Marketplace, which lets businesses offer their products and services directly to New Zealand government agencies.

New Zealand government agencies can now select Secured Signing Limited under the Managed Services – Digital Experience Services category.


Secured Signing is the local choice for government agencies, providing a one stop digital signature platform that delivers a full range of form completion and eSigning capabilities. Using advanced Digital Signature technology, it is more secure than a plain electronic signature, and has customers such as the Department of Corrections and Ministry for the Environment.


“Since 2010, Secured Signing has been committed to the local and central government sector and our approval on the AoG Marketplace is a reflection of that,” says Harrison Stott, Senior Account Director at Secured Signing.


“Our platform is more important than ever with the shift in working environments due to the pandemic. Organizations are adapting processes and the entire Secured Signing team is working tirelessly to assist in making the adoption successful.”


With Secured Signing gaining ISO 27001 Certification and being listed on the Marketplace, it allows government agencies’ procurement teams to make a faster, educated decision on adopting the digital signatures platform into their business.


Getting listed (on the Marketplace) makes it easier to offer our services to government agencies and positions us as the Local digital signature platform for kiwi government agencies,” says Gal Thompson, CEO at Secured Signing. “Our listing not only demonstrates our commitment to improving local government agencies in their day-to-day operations, but also our dedication to create awareness around how our platform increases sustainability by removing paper-based processes.”


About Secured Signing

Secured Signing, a New Zealand own, is a digital signature platform used by customers in over 30 countries across the world and has been operating since 2010 with their head office in Auckland, New Zealand. Secured Signing enables its users to use any device to capture their graphical signature, fill-in, sign, seal and verify documents anywhere, anytime.


The solution streamlines business processes, cuts back on expenses, expedites delivery cycles, improves staff efficiency, and enhances customer service in a green environment.

Secured Signing provides a digital signature integration with Content Manager, a document management system

Content Manager users now have the option to send documents for digital signing directly from within Content Manager, thanks to a new integration with Secured Signing

Demand for digital signing has increased during COVID-19, as organizations look for a method that ensures the integrity of a signed document without having to print, manually sign, then post or scan to return.


The integration means that staff can initiate a document for signing directly from within Content Manager, and after it has been signed by one or more parties, the signed document will automatically be saved back into the record it was initiated from.


Many organizations are experiencing efficiency gains in both time and resource savings, as well as improved capture of signed agreements. Several councils no longer need to print a document for council packs and have eliminated associated courier costs.


A City Council using the new software integration has said “they’ve been waiting years for a solution like this”.


Now we can send documents for signing within Content Manager and once the document has been signed it gets checked into the right record location saving a lot of double-handling.”


Digital signing in Content Manager through Secured Signing will not only mean it is quicker and simpler for users to sign, but it will also provide a clear audit trail of the signing process.


Mike Eyal, Secured Signing founder and Managing Director, says, “it is another amazing tool that Secured Signing provides to enterprise customers to initiate the signing process directly from their document management system. The
integrated solution gives users the ability to implement most of Secured Signing’s many features, as well as having a simplified one step login that creates efficiency and better control to manage the signing process in an all-in-one platform.”


About Information Proficiency

Information Proficiency is a Records & Information Management specialist providing a range of services and software
including strategic plans, policy and procedure development, system integrations, data migrations, managed records
services, hosted system administration, and software development.


The Information Proficiency team are experienced practitioners and can assist with anything information management.


We work hard to understand our client requirements and implement solutions to match.


View more here: www.infoproficiency.com.au


About Secured Signing

Secured Signing is a SaaS digital signing and online forms platform that uses the most secure technology, PKI encryption technology (the same encryption technology as what banks use and blockchain is built on).


Secured Signing is headquartered in New Zealand, where it was founded in 2010. It has clients in 30 countries, including tax accountants H&R Block, Adecco, Manpower, Auckland District Law Society, and local government such as
Manningham City Council, City of Glen Eira, Napier City Council, DeKalb County.

DeKalb County selects Secured Signing as their Digital Signing Solution

DeKalb County Government, in the Atlanta, GA metropolitan area, the governing body of over 760,000 people, has selected Secured Signing’s cloud-based digital signing and online forms platform to aid in the automation and signing of vital documents within their daily operations.

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, DeKalb County Government, like many other organizations had to mobilize their workforce in a virtual platform.

“Many departments did not have a method of automation around signatures for vital records and contracts that allowed daily operations to continue,” says Felicia Green, Deputy CIO at DeKalb County Government.

“We identified Secured Signing as a solution to quickly adopt and provide a level of automation and continuity in various high traffic departments including Legal, Purchasing, Executive Offices, and Courts to sustain a smooth operation.”

The onset of COVID shifted the culture that was previously paper based to now function in a completely virtual environment. This shift translated to increased efficiency, the tracking to documents electronically and the ability to move through internal processes at a faster rate.

DeKalb County’s ideal solution was one that had easy ramp up and administration, without the use of complex integrations. The tool would be easy to adopt and socialize through the organization and allowed for quick user trainings and configuration based on user needs to begin immediate use, migration away from paper-based signatures, and physical touch workflow processes.

In evaluating other vendors, Secured Signing was a cost-effective solution during the initial onset of COVID to pay via credit card.

Secured Signing offered an intuitive solution that provided signing workflow capabilities and streamlined the organization’s signing procedures. The ability to track and monitor documents at every touchpoint of the signing process ensured the right people were signing the right documents at the right time. This gave DeKalb County Government the peace of mind to proceed with Secured Signing as their digital signing solution.

For complex signing processes, Secured Signing had inbuilt capacity if required, which further validated the signing platform as the ideal choice.

Once DeKalb County Government was able to see the benefits and had thoroughly tested the product, they were ready to roll out Secured Signing to the wider organization.

“The process to transition to an enterprise plan was a seamless process when our needs changed accompanied with competitive pricing options.”

This is a key decision point for a County Government to keep cost in mind but empower a robust solution that offers scalable growth for future needs.

Mike Eyal, Managing Director at Secured Signing is pleased with the outcome.

“DeKalb County Government’s ability to successfully adopt Secured Signing within their organization, during these difficult times, is a testament to our teams’ willingness to deliver an effective solution. Our ongoing training and support allow businesses the opportunity to scale our platform up within their business operations.”

Secured Signing’s digital signing platform provided a multitude of features: unlimited number of signers, templates and fillable forms, out-of-the-box security through PKI digital signatures, as well as notarization and video signing capabilities to ensure effective use across all departments.

DeKalb County digitally executes thousands of documents using Secured Signing’s platform.

About DeKalb County Government

DeKalb County Government is the government body that provides Public Safety, Court Services, Water Supply and Distribution, Parks and Recreation, and other core Constituent Services to residents of DeKalb County in the greater metropolitan Atlanta, GA area. DeKalb County is Georgia’s fourth most populous County; comprised of 13 major cities (~760K in population). For more information visit www.dekalbcountyga.gov.

About Secured Signing

Secured Signing is a SaaS digital signing and online forms platform that uses the most secure technology, PKI encryption technology (the same encryption technology as what banks use and blockchain is built on). Secured Signing is headquartered in New Zealand, where it was founded in 2010. It has clients in 30 countries, including tax accountants H&R Block, Adecco and Manpower. For more information visit www.securedsigning.com.

Press Contact:

John Webster
Secured Signing Ltd
E-mail: marketing@securedsigning.com
Phone: +64 9 4799 044

Local government shares insights on implementing digital signing

Secured Signing had the pleasure of talking with Matamata-Piako District Council’s Jo Gifford on how digitizing their signing processes has helped them deliver on their strategic sustainability goals.

We dove deep into why digital signing was required, the preparation required before implementing digital signing and what Jo learnt along the way.

Main drivers for going digital

Let’s go back to the beginning, when Matamata-Piako District were manually preparing and handling all of their documents. Back then, the democracy team were driving around delivering agendas and minutes to relevant councilors.

Signed documents were stacking up and some signatures were taking months to be sent, signed, returned, and filed into the right location. A better solution was out there, and they were determined to find it.

Three main drivers which led Matamata-Piako District Council on their digitization journey

  • Time spent transferring information between councilors and internal stakeholders,

  • Money spent on paper, people and postage

  • The ability to be flexible.

Options were investigated to bring councilors into the digital world. One thing Jo mentioned is that having “huge support from the CEO” and upper management aided in the project’s success.


Being able to do things digitally, we know the moment of signing, we can verify the identity… when contracts can be worth 5 – 15 million dollars, you need to be able to prove legitimacy over who is signing the document.

Preparing to go digital

For Jo, the Democracy team were the primary drivers for change and would be the biggest users of any digital solution that they would require. However, they involved other divisions to take advantage of the added efficiencies of digitization.

These divisions included Procurement, Contracts, People, Wellness & Safety.

In the early stages, it was important to bring in key people from each division, identify at what point do things need to be signed and when things need to happen made a huge difference when implementing digital signing.

Choosing the right product

Matamata-Piako District Council chose Secured Signing, but why? Secured Signing’s platform allows you to fill-in and sign legally binding documents, from any device, anywhere, at any time. These documents are sealed with a signature which means they cannot be altered, keeping your data safe. The product was easy to understand, implement and use.

After the fact, Jo was impressed with the “responsive” support provided from the Secured Signing team. Emails replied to on the same day, phone calls if required, the initial training was interactive and useful and Matamata-Piako District Council staff have been able to sustain contact with Secured Signing allowing them to expand their knowledge of the product.

From a practical standpoint, it was “right product, right time” and the window of opportunity was utilized.


It (the Secured Signing platform) just made life an awful lot easier.

Key insights and recommendations

Wrapping up, Jo was able to share her key insights and recommendations:

  • Get a great champion who empowers your team and understands the full benefits of document digitisation.

  • Identify teams who want to be a part of the document digitisation process.

  • Workshop your processes so you know where the product will sit.


Conduct research into the true costs of printing, scanning, postage, transportation, filing, etc.


We found that the savings we could make by going fully digital, just in the Democracy space, was enough to cover the cost of getting the product, Secured Signing, and paying the fees that we needed to. It also covered off the cost of supplying all of our councilors and the Mayor with devices and it covered the cost of the (communication) hub and the IT behind that. And all of the Office 365 licenses. Secured Signing was a no-brainer from a savings perspective“.

Want to learn more? Watch the full recording here.


About Jo Gifford

Information Team Leader (Records & Land) at Matamata-PiakoDistrict Council, Jo Gifford has been working in local government for over 30 years with a huge breadth of knowledge across council, divisions, and projects. Her role in the Digital Signing project is one of the more recent ones, and was a project driven by the Corporate Strategy team and Communications team and supported by IT and management. The on-going management of digital signing and expansion of the opportunities it provides now sits with Jo.

Digital Signature – Governments’ choice for electronic documents

The expansion of electronic documents usage carries substantial benefits along with challenges to the traditional working environment. Government departments and state institutions around the world are no different to any other business. They too are looking for ways to improve service efficiency, reduce costs, and respond to the current business climate. A recent case to the ever changing conditions is shown in Gartner’s latest report (8 September 2011) that predicts a sharp drop (from projection of 9.3 percent to 3.8 percent) in PC shipment growth due to a market shift to devices like tablets.

Following the development of electronic products and services and worldwide legal recognition of electronic signatures, an increasing number of Ministries adopt digital signature technology for signing online electronic documents.  The preferred choice seems very logical in light of the apparent ability to alter or copy electronic documents that can be used in unauthorized ways. The form of user-based PKI digital signature that utilises encryption technology to sign documents ensures that the signature is uniquely linked to the signatory and document, and that any changes can be immediately detected.

There are countless examples of the above:

  • Italy was one of the first countries in the European Union to use digital signatures to connect Government departments,
  • Germany, and Spain who use digital signatures in transactions between citizens and public administration,
  • India very recently (12 September) announced the deployment of digital signature technology in citizens services,
    US Federal Government agencies and the State of California to name a few. 

Carly Fiorina once said: “Many people see technology as the problem behind the so-called digital divide. Others see it as the solution. Technology is neither. It must operate in conjunction with business, economic, political, and social systems.”