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Modernising document execution across the Federation

Media Release

Attorney-General
Minister for Industrial Relations
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Assistant Minister to the Minister for the Public Service
Assistant Minister for Electoral Matters
Member for Tagney
The Hon. Ben Morton MP

Joint media release

We welcome the decision today by Commonwealth, state and territory Treasurers to prioritise working together towards a common approach for document execution. It’s a key contribution to the Government’s Deregulation agenda, and the Deregulation Taskforce’s Modernising Business Communications deep dive.

There are over 4.5 million deeds and more than 3.8 million statutory declarations completed in Australia each year by Small and Medium Enterprises and consumers.

Deeds and statutory declarations are basic elements in many commercial transactions, financial applications and insurance claims.

But the process for creating Statutory Declarations and Deeds across Australia is different depending on location and whether you are an individual or a company.

The ‘wet-ink’ signature requirement and need for witnesses also make execution of deeds and statutory declarations complicated and time-consuming.

The disruptions from COVID showed that we can use technology to create secure, accessible and consistent pathways for executing these important documents.

Ensuring that we have a secure, electronic pathway for document execution could save over $400 million in direct costs and wasted time each year – according to modelling by Accenture commissioned by the Deregulation Taskforce.

A common, consistent approach to document execution could help bring some common sense to commercial transactions across Australia.