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Release of Discussion Paper

Release of Discussion Paper – Electronic Transactions Act Regulations

Minister for Information Technology Paul Swain released a discussion paper called Electronic Transaction Act Regulations today.

”Regulations are needed to complete the legal regime for electronic transactions implemented by the Electronic Transactions Act 2002 and bring it into force,” said Mr Swain. “The discussion paper released today is part of that process.”

The Electronic Transactions Act was passed in October last year. Its purpose is to give electronic transactions the same legal status as paper-based ones.

“The proposed regulations concern a few specific issues under the Act including the use of electronic records for tax record keeping and disclosure notices under the Credit Contracts Act,” said Mr Swain.

“In the case of disclosure notices under the Credit Contracts Act, the regulations will require the express consent of the recipient for notices to be sent electronically, and will deem that such notices are received four days after sending, as is the case with disclosure notices posted in hardcopy form.

“In the case of some notices under the National Parks Act and the Conservation Act the regulations will require the express consent of the recipient for notices to be sent electronically.

“For record-keeping requirements under tax legislation the regulations will impose requirements for electronic storage of documents that were originally in hard copy form. The regulations will require that if a hard copy document is to be kept electronically for tax purposes, and the original hard copy destroyed, then the document will have to be imaged,” said Mr Swain.

The discussion paper is intended to get feedback on the scope and effect of the proposed regulations and on whether the draft regulations will achieve the objectives outlined in the discussion document. These include protecting the interests of consumers and meeting legal requirements for record keeping at the lowest possible cost.

“Once these regulations are made the Act will come into force and allow businesses and individuals to take advantage of the potential cost savings offered by electronic technology,” said Mr Swain.

The discussion paper is available from: http://www.med.govt.nz/irdev/elcom/transactions/index.html

Submissions on the discussion paper should be sent to:

Andrew McCallum Industry and Regional Development Policy Branch Ministry of Economic Development PO Box 1473 WELLINGTON E-mail: andrew.mccallum@med.govt.nz

The closing date for submissions on the discussion paper is 1 May 2003.

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