Cabinet has approved two bills and new regulations concerning an individual’s online signature for government transactions, Under Secretary to the President Constantinos Petrides said on Wednesday.
Petrides said that this was an important step in the introduction of e-government.
The idea is that the public “will have to sign, verify and submit through their mobile phones or personal computers, his or her applications or transactions with the government”, he said.
Easier transactions online would end the current practice of state services that require hand written signatures, often forcing the public to go back and forth between government departments.
“We have proceeded with tabling an EU harmonising bill that basically gives the same legal and judicial power to the electronic signature as that of the hand-written one,” Petrides said.
The next step, he said, will be to decide the storage medium of electronic signatures “whether it will be server based, whether it will be (stored on a) USB flash drive, or through mobile phones”.
Petrides said that an international tender competition is to follow for the initial purchase of 100,000 digital certificates and signatures.
“This is an important piece of the civil service reform, I believe we are gradually building a mosaic, the puzzle that is the electronic government,” Petrides said.