Posted on February 28, 2001
On February 27, 2001, Secretary of Education Rod Paige signed an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which was forwarded to the Federal Register for publication. This advance notice announces that the Secretary will propose regulations to carry out the electronic record retention provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act), public law 106-229.
The Regulations will set forth performance standards regarding the accuracy, integrity, and accessibility of electronic records and would apply to lenders, guaranty agencies, schools, and other parties administering any student financial assistance program authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
The notice invites comments, due by March 16, 2001.
The ANPRM, with Secretary Paige's signature, is attached in a pdf file, which can be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader. The advance notice without signature appears as text below.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
34 CFR Part 50
Performance Standards for Retention of Electronic Records
in the Student Financial Assistance Programs
AGENCY: Department of Education.
ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.
SUMMARY: The Secretary will propose rules to implement
section 101(d) of the Electronic Signatures in Global and
National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act), Public Law 106-229.
These regulations will set forth proposed performance
standards regarding the accuracy, integrity, and
accessibility of electronic records that would apply to
lenders, guaranty agencies, schools, and other parties
administering any student financial assistance program
authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of
1965, as amended (HEA).
DATES: We must receive your comments on or before (INSERT
DATE 15 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL
REGISTER). We are offering this limited comment period in
order to expedite issuance of the proposed rule. Comments
received by this date will be considered in the development
of the proposed rule. As a consequence of the publication
of this notice, and under section 107 (b) of the E-Sign Act,
the authority of a program participant to retain a required
record in electronic form, in instances where that
authority did not previously exist, will become effective
on June 1, 2001, rather than on March 1, 2001.
ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this advanced notice
of proposed rulemaking to: Gail McLarnon, U. S. Department
of Education, 1990 K St., NW, Room 8062, Washington, DC
20006-8540. If you prefer to send your comments through the
Internet, use the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gail McLarnon, 202/219-
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf
(TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service
(FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document
in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print,
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact
person listed in the preceding paragraph.
The E-Sign Act provides, in part, that a signature,
contract, or other record relating to a transaction may not
be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely
because it is in electronic form, or because an electronic
signature or electronic record was used in its formation.
By eliminating legal barriers, the E-Sign Act will allow
lenders, guaranty agencies, schools, and other parties
administering the Title IV, HEA student financial
assistance programs to use electronic records and
electronic signatures in place of records and signatures
that, under the HEA and underlying regulations, must be
maintained and provided in writing. Section 104(b) (3) of
the E-Sign Act authorizes the Secretary to set forth
general requirements regarding the accuracy, integrity, and
accessibility of electronic records, and procedures
relating to the maintenance of those records. The
Secretary will be issuing proposed regulations that will
contain such requirements and procedures.
Invitation to Comment:
We are seeking comments or suggestions on this notice.
We are interested in comments on assuring approaches to
assuring the accuracy, integrity, and accessibility of
electronic records in the administration of the federal
student aid programs. Specifically, we are interested in
comments related to the maintenance of electronic records
by program participants. Areas of interest include the
. The timeframe to implement the use and maintenance of
. The impact of using and maintaining electronic records
on the integrity of the Federal student financial aid
· The comparability between electronic records and hard
copy paper records.
Electronic Access to This Document
You may view this document, as well as all other
Department of Education documents published in the Federal
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)
on the Internet at either of the following sites:
To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which
is available free at either of the previous sites. If you
have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government
Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.
Note: The official version of this document is the
document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet
access to the official edition of the Federal Register and
the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access
List of Subjects in 34 CFR Part 50
Colleges and universities, Grant programs-education,
reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Dated: //Feb 27, 2000//
Secretary of Education.