702.101 Exchange of documents and information.
(a) Except as otherwise provided by § § 702.203, 702.215 and 702.349, all documents and information under this subchapter
(1) Sent to OWCP
(i) Must be submitted electronically through an OWCP-authorized system unless a district director permits an alternative submission method for individuals who do not have a computer, lack access to the internet, or lack the ability to utilize the internet. Documents and information submitted through an OWCP-authorized electronic system are considered filed when received.
(ii) When authorized to use an alternative method, submission may be made by postal mail, commercial delivery service (such as Federal Express or United Parcel Service), hand delivery, or another method authorized by OWCP. Documents and information submitted using an alternative method are considered filed when received by OWCP.
(2) Sent by OWCP to parties and their representatives must be sent
(i) Electronically by a reliable electronic method;
(ii) In hard copy by postal mail, commercial delivery service (such as Federal Express or United Parcel Service), or hand delivery; or
(iii) Electronically through an OWCPâ€“ authorized system that delivers documents to the parties and their representatives or notifies them when documents have been added to the case file.
(3) Sent by any party or representative to another party or representative must be sent by any method allowed under paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section, except that when sent by a reliable electronic method, the receiving party or representative must agree in writing to receive documents and information by that method.
(b) For purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, reliable electronic methods for delivering documents include, but are not limited to, email, facsimile, and web portal.
(c) Any party or representative may revoke his or her agreement to receive documents and information electronically by giving written notice to the party or the representative with whom he or she had agreed to receive documents and information electronically.
(d) The provisions in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section apply when parties are directed by the regulations in this subchapter to advise; apply; approve; authorize; demand; file; forward; furnish; give; give notice; inform; issue; make; notice, notify; provide; publish; receive; recommend; refer; release; report; request; respond; return; send; serve; service; submit; or transmit.
(e) Any reference in this subchapter to an application, copy, filing, form, letter, written notice, or written request includes both hard-copy and electronic documents.
(f) Any requirement in this subchapter that a document or information be submitted in writing, or that it be signed, executed, or certified does not preclude its submission or exchange electronically.
(g) Any requirement in this subchapter that a document be signed may be satisfied by an electronic signature.
(1) Definitions. For purposes of this paragraph
Document means any form of writing submitted to OWCP, including applications, claim forms, notices of payments, and reports of injury. Electronic signature means a mark on a document, created by electronic means, that indicates the signatoryâ€™s endorsement of or assent to the terms of a document. An electronic signature may serve as the binding signature for a business or other corporate or collective entity if the signatory has the legal authority to bind the entity. Electronic signature device means a code, password, or other mechanism that is used by a signatory to create or input electronic signatures on a document or to log in to an electronic signature program. The code, password or mechanism must be unique to the signatory at the time the signature is created and the signatory must be uniquely entitled to use it. The device is compromised if the code or mechanism is available for use by any other person. Examples of such devices include a unique username and password, a PIN number or other numeric code, biometrics, cryptographic controls such as asymmetric or symmetric cryptography, and software that takes a scan of a userâ€™s ID. Electronic signature program means a software application that allows a signatory to log in using an electronic signature device and electronically sign a document. Signatory means any person who, on behalf of themselves or an entity for whom they are authorized to sign, places an electronic signature on a document.
(2) Acceptable methods of creating an electronic signature include
(i) The use of an electronic signature device;
(ii) The use of an electronic signature program, provided that such program includes the use of an electronic signature device;
(iii) The signatory typing their name onto an electronic document following a â€˜â€˜/sâ€™â€™ mark;
(iv) The signatory using a mouse, touchpad, stylus, or other equivalent device to physically draw their signature on a display screen;
(v) Other methods allowed by OWCP.
(3) A document containing multiple electronic signatures may utilize the same method or methods of signing with respect to each signature, or may utilize different methods, provided the methods are acceptable methods pursuant to paragraph (g)(2) of this section.
(4) Entities submitting electronicallysigned documents must
(i) Ensure that all signatures allow OWCP to clearly identify the signatory. Any signature made on behalf of a business or other collective entity should identify the individual person signing.
(ii) Keep a record of how the electronic signature was obtained, including any electronic signature programs and/or electronic signature devices used, and be able to provide this information at OWCPâ€™s request.
(iii) Keep a record of the date the signature was created and be able to provide this information at OWCPâ€™s request.
(h) Any reference in this subchapter to transmitting information to an entityâ€™s address may include that entityâ€™s electronic address or electronic portal. (i) Subject to paragraph (a) of this section, any requirement in this subchapter that a document or information
(1) Be sent to a specific district director means that the document or information should be sent to the electronic (or physical when permitted) address provided by OWCP for that district director; and
(2) Be filed by a district director in his or her office means that the document or information may be filed in an electronic (or physical when permitted) location specified by OWCP for that district director.
Amendment published at 85 FR 80611, Dec. 14, 2020.