Electronic archiving vs. classical archiving – THE SAME LEGAL FORCE
Electronic archiving provides electronically archived documents with the same legal force as signed and stamped printed documents, following an archiving process, as it is defined by Law no.
135/2007 regarding the electronic archiving of documents. The storage of thus archived documents is done in a Data Center authorized by the MCIS – Ministry of Communication and Information Society.
There are such documents, especially financial and accounting ones that, according to THE LAW, must be kept in original (The Law on National Archives – 16/1996) – i.e. classically archived. Why is electronic archiving necessary? The answer to this could be another question: what are the risks of LOOSING the original documents (as an individual or a legal person) due to negligence, inappropriate storage conditions, extremely low safety/protection? For example: loosing contracts/invoices/ receipts/vouchers, loosing notary acts, degrees, medical documents , etc.
The electronic archiving of paper documents means MORE than just scanning and saving them on the hard disk of the computer. Electronic documents, whose integrity is not suitably ensured, may be subject to undetectable handling. Therefore, in order for the electronically archived documents to acquire the same legal force as documents printed on papers and signed, they need to be signed electronically by the issuer or owner of these documents, countersigned by the authorized archiving programme (ARHIERO),which also applies on these electronic documents the timestamp from the Timestamp Authority server.
Why electronic archiving?
First of all, electronic archiving provides safety by: eliminating “degradation” in time as a result of handling, through the existence of redundant protective mechanisms against potential damage and through the existence of cryptographic protocols and algorithms which provide a high level of protection for the information contained in the electronic archive.
Second of all, an electronic management of documents takes place since the process of electronic archiving is performed in real time, which ensures the quick retrieval of documents in the electronic archive. And finally, an aspect equally important is that of costs – special storage conditions, storage space, handling, etc.