The Act of November 18, 2020, introduced new rules for the service of correspondence using a public registered electronic delivery service and a public hybrid service with public entities. The amendment covered not only civil proceedings (which we wrote about in the previous article), but also, for example, administrative proceedings.
As is the case with service of letters in civil procedure, public entities the authorities will be obliged to have an address for electronic delivery entered in the database of electronic addresses. If the non-publicentity’s electronic delivery address is not listedin the electronic address database, delivery of correspondence will be to the electronic delivery address from which the non-publicentity sent the correspondence. The draft law indicates that in one exceptional situation, namely when the addressee of the correspondence is present in the premises of the sender’s authority, it is permissible to deliver the correspondence not to an electronic delivery address but to one’s own person. Where this is not possible, because the addressee does not have an address for electronic service, the authority shall effect service by means ofa public hybrid service or by its staff orother authorized persons or bodies.
Pursuant to the newly added Article 14 §1aof the Codeof Administrative Procedure, all matters shall be conducted and settled in writing recorded in paperor electronic form. Letters in paperform shall beara handwritten signature, and letters in electronic form shall bear a qualified electronic signature, a trusted signature or a personal signature or a qualified electronic seal of a public administration body with an indication of the person stamping the letter in the body ofthe letter. It will also be possible to handle cases using letters generated automatically and be aring aqualified electronic seal of the public administration body (Article 14 §1b of the Code of Administrative Procedure), as well as with the use of online services made available by public administration bodies after the party or other participant in the proceedings has been authenticated (Article 14 §1cof the Code of Administrative Procedure). As we read in the explanatory memorandum to the bill, the use of electronic seal the use of this tool for automatically generated letters will not only allow for the automatic issuance of certificates and confirmations of activities performed as part of online services, but it will also protect authorities against human error, in case a qualified electronic seal of theauthority could be affixed by a person representing the authority.
Moreover, pursuant to the amended provision of Article 393§ 1 of the Code of Administrative Proceedings, service may consist inprinting out theletter from theICT system ifit is signedwith a qualified electronic signature, a trusted signature, a personal signature, an advanced electronicseal or aqualified electronic seal. A senderwho sends a letter toa public administration body in anelectronic form will receive aproof of receipt of the letterby the givenentity. If thereis a needto prepare acopy of a document which has been drawn up in writing recorded in electronic form, certification of its compliance with the original document shall be performed usinga qualified electronic signature, a trusted signature or apersonal signature.
E-deliveries areto be arevolution in the Polish system of public administration. These changes are very important, because they are to lead to the improvement of administrative proceedings through its more complete computerization.