CONTROVERSIAL LAW ON ELECTRONIC DELIVERY
Author: Jarosław Kruk - attorney at law, managing partner | Sylwia Działo - lawyer
The initial effective date of the Act of November 18, 2020 was 1 July, 2021. However, due to pandemic and the impeded ability to conduct user testing and training, the government decided to extend the period until 5 October, 2021. The introduction of electronic delivery is one of the objectives of the Program of Integrated State Informatization (PISP), which is an annex to Resolution No.1/2014 of the Council of Ministers of 8 January, 2014 on the adoption of the development program “program of Integrated State Informatization”, as amended by Resolution No.117/2016 of the Council of Ministers od 27 September, 2016, and Resolution No.109/2019 of the Council of Ministers of 24 September, 2019.
The main objective of the changes is to improve the functioning of public administration providing high quality services with the use of modern information technologies in order to develop the society and economy. Until now, the ability to send or receive letters electronically could be done by, for example, within the framework of electronic writ of payment proceedings or through the ePUAP platform, however this way is effective only in communication with public entities and only for cases initiated electronically or for which consent has been given for electronic delivery.
The Act on electronic delivery introduces the possibility for a given entity to decide whether they want to send and receive correspondence with legal effect e.g. from/to public administration bodies, in a letter form or electronically. Importantly, each entity, citizen and entrepreneur will have only one specific address to contact the administration and with it a properly secured e-mail address delivery. If a given entity decides to send the correspondence by e-delivery, a proof of sending and receiving the correspondence in question will be issued and all addresses of public entities will be entered into the Database of Electronic Addresses maintained by the Minister of Informatization. It is worth mentioning that according to article 7, sec.1 of the discussed Act, entry of the address for electronic delivery in the electronic address database is equivalent to a request for delivery of correspondence by public entities to this address.
However, it is worth noting, that the introduction to the Polish legal order of the e-delivery does not exclude sending or receiving correspondence, as before, in paper form, for those who will not have an e-mail address or will not give their consent to send or receive correspondence electronically. Moreover, according to article 6 of the Act, exclusion of the possibility to use e-service may take place in the case of necessity to serve a document recorded in a non-electronic form or an item not subject to transformation due to important public interest, in particular state security, defence or public order as well as in the case of technical and organizational limitations resulting from the volume of correspondence or other reasons of technical nature. Such entities will be able to use introduced hybrid service, which will consist in sending official letters electronically and receive them in the usual traditional written form from the office of the operator concerned.
It should not be forgotten, that some entities will be obliged in advance to have an e-mail address for electronic delivery. According to article 9 of the Act on Electronic Delivery such entities will be persons of public trust such as an advocate, legal advisor, tax advisor, restricting advisor, patent agent or a non-public entity entered in CEIDG. Entrepreneurs will also be obliged to have an electronic address, both natural persons conducting business activity registered in Central Business Register and Information on Business Activity as well as entities registered in the National Court Register.
The electronic delivery will be used in civil, administrative and criminal proceedings.
The introduction of the service will significantly contribute the shortening the circulation of administrative documentation, reduce the costs of proceedings and the duration of the proceedings themselves. However, it should be remembered that in order to effectively use the electronic delivery service, all entities should adapt or update their IT systems as soon as possible and separate the electronic addresses they will use.