According to Nitro, tech leaders of Australian-born companies with a combined value of more than $100 billion have added their voices to the campaign.
The San Francisco-headquartered Nitro (ASX:NTO) says high-profile Australian entrepreneurs including Scott Farquar and Mike Cannon-Brookes at Atlassian, Cliff Obrecht at Canva, Craig Scroggie at Next DC, and Patrick Grove at Catcha Group have endorsed the submission made by Nitro’s co-founder and CEO Sam Chandler, to the parliamentary inquiry into the legislation, which includes measures on eSignatures and is currently sitting in the Senate.
Nitro says that in response to disrupted business conditions as a result of COVID-19, the Federal Government introduced temporary measures to enable the electronic execution of documents - and this has proven critical for business continuity, given the travel and social distancing restrictions imposed to manage the pandemic.
Nitro notes thatt the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021 would extend that temporary measure until 15 September 2021, meaning organisations executing documents would not have to secure physical, or ‘wet’, signatures.
In its submission to the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the Bill, Nitro supports that element of the Bill but calls for the changes to be made permanent.
Nitro says that, importantly, the Bill does not prohibit ‘wet’ signatures, giving Australian businesses the choice of either.
Nitro announced that it has conducted two research reports during the height of COVID-19 to gain more insight into remote working habits.
The first report found there was a 70% fall in the use of printing by Australian companies since the start of the pandemic, coupled with a 108% increase in electronic signature requests - demonstrating that eSignatures have become an essential part of business functionality.
“It is our belief that permanently enabling electronic execution of documents will enable Australian organisations to operate more productively and efficiently and will enable Australian businesses to remain at the forefront of technological innovation,” Sam Chandler’s submission states.
“A return to mandated paper-based document execution risks leaving Australia as an outlier in global business practices. The Federal Government’s indication that our international borders will effectively remain closed for an extended period into 2022 only reinforces the need for Australian businesses to be able to operate as seamlessly as possible in an increasingly digital world.”
A copy of Nitro’s the submission submission to the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry is available here.