The Census Bureau says it will save about $1.2 million yearly by using an automated e-signature process allowing workers to sign and submit performance review forms electronically.
The bureau next month will implement eSignLive, an electronic signature product for secure documents. It will save roughly $5 per signature for field employees, officials said, by ending the need for the manual shipping and handling of paper forms.
The automated human resources product, offered by Illinois-based VASCO Data Security International, will help the agency combine multiple technologies to improve efficiency, said eSignLive president Tommy Petrogiannis.
“Implementing best in breed solutions like eSignLive is a foundational first step toward an end-to-end digital government because it improves operational efficiency and creates transparency, helping drive home the importance of digitization,” Petrogiannis said.
The bureau will roll out the cloud-based automated technology in two phases: The first will begin in April for the agency’s 8,000 field employees, and the second will be in October for employees at the bureau’s headquarters and regional offices.
The system is available on both laptops and desktops, an eSignLive spokeswoman told FedScoop on Wednesday.
Field employees will use laptops containing derived credential chip technology to have on-the-go access, the spokeswoman added, to comply with regulatory requirements regarding identity management and access control including two-factor authentication.
Headquarters-based and regional employees will be able to use the e-sign system on their desktops.
The spokeswoman said that after the full implementation in October, e-signatures will expand to other processes and use cases at the Census Bureau, and also offered as an enterprise service.
Should the e-signature process be successful within the Department of Commerce, which houses the Census Bureau, it is possible that other federal agencies could eventually integrate it with their legacy HR systems, she said.
Other branches and private companies that use eSignLive include the U.S. Army, Wells Fargo, and IBM.
The eSignLive system was named one of 30 tech finalists for the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council’s Igniting Innovation Showcase, which was to be held Tuesday in Washington. The event was postponed to a future date due to weather conditions.