By DENNIS WYATT
The City of Manteca is moving toward electronic signatures in a bid to slash as much as two weeks off the approval process needed to get projects authorized.
It is the latest move by City Manager Tim Ogden to make city government more efficient and responsive that the council embraced last month.
Currently documents needed to get projects moving forward that are authorized by the City Council through the annual budget adoption or throughout the year have to be circulated to each department head involved as well as the finance director and city manager. That requires the same paper document to be handled and reviewed by each party involved. It is then sent to the city attorney for review and back to the city manager for final approval.
That can take a week to two weeks.
Under the new system, a highly secured electronic signature service program will be used to distribute such documents simultaneously. If the department heads are in concurrence, they authorize the use of their electronic signature. It could cut the process down to as little as a day.
Unlike consumers that scribble their signature with a fingernail or an implement on screens authorizing a credit card charge or acknowledging a contract, the electronic signature the city is employing that is used extensively by private corporations as well as a growing number of government agencies is much more sophisticated.
Ogden last month said the electronic signature is part of the city’s ongoing effort to streamline the government process to make the City of Manteca staff more responsive to the people they serve by getting projects underway quicker.