The Inevitable Implication of eDAIS
The past decade or two has seen a complete transformation in the way development applications are lodged and processed. What was a completely paperbound process now relies on electronic systems to manage the approval process within Council and increasing adoption of online lodgement of applications. The only remaining paper bound part of the process is the decision notice which is printed, signed and mailed the old fashioned way.
Many Councils are now looking to close the loop by issuing development permits electronically.
Digitally signed development permits can be directly captured to your records system without the wasted effort and reduced fidelity of scanning a signed hard copy. You will also use less paper, save on printing costs and will waste less effort with a simplified outgoing mail process.
In making this transition it is important to ensure Council adopts a method for electronic signatures that is both simple and secure.
The most secure method for signing documents electronically uses the same standards that are used to secure all online banking and internet commerce. PKI digital signatures ensure:
- your signature cannot be copied to another document,
- that the signature is invalidated by any change to the document and
- your signature can be objectively validated as authentic.
You can start using a hosted digital signature service that avoids any need for capital purchases or upfront costs. You only pay for the documents you put through the service and costs are on par with the price of a stamp. Ensure you select a local provider to comply with privacy obligations. These videos demonstrate the simplicity of digitally signing your development permits.
On premise solutions are also available that allow you to sign documents from within your desktop software such as Office and Adobe Reader. These solutions also open up options to automate high volume tasks like signing large numbers of adjoining owners notifications.
2013 should be the year you start issuing digital development permits!
Click the ‘Ask Me Anything’ link above (it’s the “?” icon) if you’d like more information about how digital signatures work.
There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.
11th Hour Fiscal Cliff Deal Not Signed by Obama.
Even though it’s been hard to avoid hearing about the ‘fiscal cliff’ in the US, I still don’t really know what it’s all about. Too many other pressing issues on my mind over the summer break such as working out whether I should eat all the leftover sweet treats in a sustained binge or to exercise judicious restraint through to about Easter.
Despite my calculated indifference to the budgetary melodrama of the US government, this piece from The Verge slipped through my guard. The short version is that Obama didn’t personally sign the fiscal cliff legislation. He had more important things to do, places to be. So he used an autopen to faithfully transcribe his ‘john hancock’ on the deal. Reading this brought back deep childhood disappointment with the results of my efforts with a sketch-a-graph!
While the main article is mildly interesting, the comments were a stark reminder to me about how confused people’s thinking is around signatures. Intuitively we all understand that in an increasingly digital world, our autograph on a piece of paper is really the least useful way we can indicate our agreement or approval.
For some of the people using Secured Signing to digitally sign electronic documents, the key thing is to be able to sign things while they are out of the office. It’s certainly a much cheaper option than Obama’s autopen!
“A simple but powerful tool” to preserve Kuku Yalanji Cultural Heritage.
The Western Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation is responsible for the cultural heritage protection and management for the Western Yalanji people. This is a process that intrinsically acknowledges the importance of ‘place’ which make mapping an important tool.
Paul Fisk, Executive Officer of the Corporation shared the ways in which ShareMap is used in their planning and field operations. ”We find it to be a relatively simple but powerful tool and it has greatly enhanced our capacity to collect and store data… and as an aid in the presentation of information and in consultation with the community.”
Image: Tourism Australia
Anyone can present better and it doesn’t matter what tools you use.
This presentation from Bill Gates is really top shelf. His speaking style is natural and it’s clear he has a strong grasp of the material. The visuals supporting the presentation are simple, clear and powerful. What makes it stark for me is comparing this to how he used to present. Check out this shocker. ”This slide really pulls it all together”… Really?!?!?
So what’s changed?
Often you’ll see really great presenters using Macs and Keynote. Even though Bill has retired from active duty I think the chances of him not using PowerPoint on a PC are pretty slim. So this is clear proof that simplicity and clarity of purpose can create strong presentation visuals regardless of the tools used.
Now don’t get me wrong I use both KeyNote and PowerPoint to prepare presentations. The former for my own presentations and the latte for broader use by colleagues. For me, every experience of working with Powerpoint is like crawling across broken glass. But as Bill’s presentation shows, PowerPoint can be used to get the job done, and done well.
The comparison with his earlier presentation also makes it clear that Bill is not one of those naturally gifted orators. The difference is now I think he sees presenting well and influencing others as core to what he does in the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. At Microsoft he was about getting things done himself - it was a locus of control. At the Foundation it’s more about exerting influence and convincing others to act. So he cares more about presenting and has clearly invested time in being a better presenter.
This all means you can be a better presenter. It’s not about which software tools you use it’s about how you use them. You don’t have to be a natural, you can learn and practice just like the rest of us!
In the modern workplace this is a vital skill - whether you’re presenting to a large audience in a packed auditorium or to five people in a meeting room. Getting your message across clearly is important.
Words fail me… see sketch.
This is a phrase that brings to mind a project manager I used to work with who would say this when things got to be too much. It is a phrase that also highlights the very real frustration of trying to describe in words something that is intrinsically graphical. I guess that’s why a meeting room isn’t complete until it has a whiteboard.
Sketching ideas becomes even more useful and powerful when they overlay a map. This video of ShareMap in action shows each of the stakeholders to a new project can participate in a spatial conversation to arrive at a decision that clearly reflects all contributions.
Source: SDX (www.sharemap.com)
This video makes it clear that it’s not just humans that desire equality. If seeing different rewards for the same outcome causes this reaction in capuchin monkeys, it’s no wonder it causes grief in the workplace!
16 September 1959: The Day the Signature Died - with apologies to Don McLean.
Sometimes you get asked a question that there is no right answer to. Police officers used to be trained to ask you, “Why were you speeding?”. There is no right answer to that question. Any response agrees with the implied assumption in the question, that you were speeding. They don’t bother with this verbal jousting anymore as they usually have more than enough evidence for court without worrying about an implied admission.
For me, the question I get asked that has no right answer is, “Are digital signatures really as good as traditional signatures?”. The implicit assumption in this question is that wet ink signatures still provide any sense of reliability or authenticity! The value of a particular flourish on a printed page is dependent on it being difficult, expensive, or both, to reproduce.
The Xerox 914 plain paper copier was released on 16 September 1959. That was the day the signature died. Well, started to die, to be fair. Given you can buy a full colour multi function device that will scan, copy and print for $50, it’s safe to say the day the signature died has well and truly arrived!
Digital signatures are not as good as wet ink signatures; they are better, much better. Proper, PKI based digital signatures are not able to be copied, forged or tampered with. The document content is sealed and the signature invalidated if it is changed. The identity of the person who signed the document is irrevocably tied to the document.
A PKI digital signature gives you more confidence and reliability in a document than you ever had with a paper signature. Be aware though, not all digital signatures available offer all these advantages. Even some provided by the big brands of the IT industry fall surprisingly short.
Drop me a line and I can tell you the three things your digital signature solution must deliver for you.