There is a difference of opinion in relation to the type of signature to be used when digitizing documents presented in person at the registration assistance offices (OAMR).

On the one hand, there are those who consider that the digitization process that must be carried out to convert a paper document into an electronic one, while following the technical rules of interoperability, is an automatic process (automated administrative action) in which it does not intervene the public employee, except for the function of placing the paper document in the scanner, which would be a preliminary and proper action to assist the interested parties. If this interpretation is chosen, the type of signature to be used can be, according to current regulations, both a qualified official and a body seal.

The signature with a body seal has the advantage of administrative efficiency because a person does not have to intervene in each process. System security is based on system access control, process monitoring, and records of operations associated with each individual.

Other opinions advocate considering that there is no such thing as automated administrative action because a public employee intervenes. If this interpretation is made, the process of authenticating paper documents into electronic documents will only require the signature of an authorized official.

Legal context

Law 39/2015 :

Article 16 Records

"5. The documents presented in person before the Public Administrations must be digitized, in accordance with what is provided for in article 27 and other applicable regulations, by the registration assistance office in which they have been submitted for inclusion in the electronic administrative file, returning the originals to the interested party, without prejudice to those cases in which the rule determines the custody of the submitted documents by the Administration or the presentation of objects or of documents in a specific support not susceptible to digitization. [...]"

Article 27 Validity and effectiveness of copies made by Public Administrations

"1. Each Public Administration will determine the bodies that are empowered to issue authentic copies of public administrative or private documents.

Authentic copies of private documents are issued for administrative purposes only. The authentic copies made by a Public Administration will be valid in the other Administrations.

For these purposes, the General Administration of the State, the Autonomous Communities and the Local Entities may make authentic copies through an authorized official or through automated administrative action."

Law 40/2015 :

Article 41. Automated administrative action.

"1. Automated administrative action means any act or action carried out entirely through electronic means by a Public Administration within the framework of an administrative procedure and in which a public employee has not directly intervened.

2. In case of automated administrative action, it will be necessary to establish beforehand the competent body or bodies, as the case may be, for the definition of the specifications, programming, maintenance, supervision and quality control and, where appropriate, auditing of the system information and its source code. However, the body that must be considered responsible for the purposes of appeal will be indicated."

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