(a) The Secretary of State shall propose emergency and legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to establish standards and processes to facilitate the use of electronic signatures in all governmental transactions by state agencies subject to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. The rules shall include minimum standards for secure transactions to promote confidence and efficiency in legally binding electronic document transactions. The rules may be amended from time to time to keep the rules current with new developments in technology and improvements in secured transaction processes.
(b) The Secretary of State is designated the certification authority and repository for all governmental agencies which are subject to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code and shall regulate transactions and digital signature verifications. The Secretary may enter into reciprocal agreements with all state and federal governmental entities to promote the efficient governmental use of electronic transactions. The Secretary of State may propose legislative rules for issuing certificates that bind public keys to individuals, and other electronic transaction authentication devices as provided in this article. The Secretary of State is further authorized to contract with a public or private entity to serve as certification authority for the State of West Virginia. The certification authority may contract with persons to provide certification services. Any contract entered into must require the certification authority to meet the requirements of this article and any rules promulgated by the Secretary of State.
(c) Nothing contained in this article may be construed to mandate any specific form of technology, process or standard to be the only technology, process or standard which may be utilized by state entities. Nor may anything contained in this article be construed to limit the Secretary of State in adopting by legislative rule, alternative technologies to authorize electronic signatures and electronic postmarks.
(d) Nothing contained in this article may be construed to authorize the use of electronic signatures, electronic postmarks, or both, to effect service of a summons and complaint.