Contractors operating or providing services pursuant to this chapter may do both of the following:
(a) (1) Maintain records electronically, in compliance with state and federal standards, as determined by the department. A conversion from a paper record to an electronic format, as well as the storage of the electronic record, shall comply with the minimum standards described in Section 12168.7 of the Government Code and the standards for trustworthy electronic document or record preservation described in Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 22620.1) of Division 7 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Pursuant to Section 33421, the records shall be retained by each contractor for at least five years, or, where an audit has been requested by a state agency, until the date the audit is resolved, whichever is longer.
(3) This subdivision does not require a contractor to create records electronically.
(b) (1) Use a digital signature that complies with state and federal standards, as determined by the department, that may be a marking that is either computer generated or produced by electronic means and is intended by the signatory to have the same effect as a handwritten signature.
(2) The use of a digital signature shall have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature if the requirements for the digital signatures and their acceptable technology, as provided in Section 16.5 of the Government Code and in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 22000) of Division 7 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations, are satisfied.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 324, Sec. 1. )