House Bill No. 468

Introduced By gillan, hagener

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act authorizing the secretary of state to develop and implement a statewide electronic filing system; requiring that if an electronic filing system is developed and implemented by the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall promulgate rules regarding access, security, and integrity and other matters relevant to the system; limiting the state's liability for errors or omissions of data or information within the statewide electronic filing system; allowing the development and implementation of a statewide electronic filing system to be phased in; and amending section 2-15-401, MCA."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

NEW SECTION. Section 1.  Electronic filing system -- requirements -- rules -- limitations on liability. (1) As authorized by 2-15-401, the secretary of state may develop and implement a statewide electronic filing system to accommodate the electronic filing of records and documents that are required to be filed in the office of the secretary of state.

(2) If the secretary of state develops and implements a statewide electronic filing system, the secretary of state shall establish a central data base for all records and documents filed electronically with the secretary of state.

(3) If the secretary of state develops and implements a statewide electronic filing system, the secretary of state shall adopt rules that:

(a) provide procedures for entering data;

(b) provide security and protection of information in the system and monitor the data base and other components of the system to ensure that unauthorized entry is precluded;

(c) require standardized information for entry into the system;

(d) prescribe an identification procedure for a person filing records or other documents or otherwise accessing the system;

(e) require each individual who is required to sign a document that is filed electronically to be specifically identified as acknowledging the document and giving assent to the electronic filing through an identification procedure unique to that individual;

(f) prescribe a procedure for certification of electronic filings by the secretary of state; and

(g) prescribe a procedure for converting an electronic filing to a paper copy and for certifying the paper copy for a person requesting a paper copy.

(4) The secretary of state is not liable for any loss or damages arising from errors in or omissions from information entered into the electronic filing system IN ACCORDANCE WITH 2-17-501, THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL COOPERATE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANY ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM.

(5) This section may not be construed to affect any requirement that a particular individual or officer of an organization acknowledge a document. Any person using an identification procedure in place of a signature or facsimile signature for any electronic filing is subject to the same civil and criminal penalties applicable to a person providing a signature or facsimile signature.

(6) An electronic filing system developed and implemented under this section may be constructed in phases as resources and technology allow.

Section 2.  Section 2-15-401, MCA, is amended to read:

"2-15-401.   Duties of secretary of state -- authority. (1) In addition to the duties prescribed by the constitution, it is the duty of the secretary of state to:

(1)(a)  attend at every session of the legislature for the purpose of receiving bills and resolutions and to perform other duties as may be devolved upon the secretary of state by resolution of the two houses or either of them;

(2)(b)  keep a register of and attest the official acts of the governor, including all appointments made by the governor, with date of commission and names of appointees and predecessors;

(3)(c)  affix the great seal, with the secretary of state's attestation, to commissions, pardons, and other public instruments to which the official signature of the governor is required;

(4)(d)  record in proper books all articles of incorporation filed in the secretary of state's office;

(5)(e)  take and file receipts for all books distributed by the secretary of state and direct the county clerk of each county to do the same;

(6)(f)  certify to the governor the names of those persons who have received at any election the highest number of votes for any office, the incumbent of which is commissioned by the governor;

(7)(g)  furnish, on demand, to any person paying the fees, a certified copy of all or any part of any law, record, or other instrument filed, deposited, or recorded in the secretary of state's office;

(8)(h)  keep a fee book in which must be entered all fees, commissions, and compensation earned, collected, or charged, with the date, name of payer, paid or unpaid, and the nature of the service in each case, which must be verified annually by the secretary of state's affidavit entered in the fee book;

(9)(i)  file in the secretary of state's office descriptions of seals in use by the different state officers;

(10)(j)  discharge the duties of member of the board of examiners and of the board of land commissioners and all other duties required by law;

(11)(k)  register marks as provided in Title 30, chapter 13, part 3;

(12)(l)  report annually to the legislative services division all watercourse name changes received pursuant to 85-2-134 for publication in the Laws of Montana;

(13)(m)  keep a register of all applications for pardon or for commutation of any sentence, with a list of the official signatures and recommendations in favor of each application.

(2) The secretary of state may develop and implement a statewide electronic filing system as described in [section 1]."

NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 2, chapter 15, part 4, and the provisions of Title 2, chapter 15, part 4, apply to [section 1].

NEW SECTION. Section 4.  Two-thirds vote required. Because [section 1] limits governmental liability, Article II, section 18, of the Montana constitution requires a vote of two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature for passage.