"Commercial surety bonds have an equally important impact and provide financial security for millions of workers across the country through, for example, license and permit, guardian and conservatorship, appeal, lease, utility and public official bonds," commented NASBP CEO
The SFAA and NASBP issued a joint Request for Emergency Action to federal, state and local officials outlining their position. They urge that e-signatures and e-corporate seals be accepted where public officials are not already accepting these electronic forms. SFAA and NASBP do not recommend Remote Online Notarization (RON) as a practical, workable solution in this environment, because it is not yet widely adopted, and in states that have authorized RON, it requires pre-certification and registration. The memo urges officials to issue the following guidance for construction and commercial surety bonds due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. With respect to all construction bonds, public procurement officials shall accept all bonds and powers of attorney containing e-signatures and e-corporate seals affixed to each document, and waive the notary requirement.
2. With respect to all commercial surety bonds, government officials shall accept all bonds and powers of attorney containing e-signatures and e-corporate seals affixed to each document, and waive the notary requirement.
"By immediately implementing these actions, I am confident surety bonds will continue to provide the protections needed to facilitate and expedite the critical contracting process required for necessary business and construction services during this crisis," continued Covington. McCallum added, "some public authorities already have recognized the need to address these issues now, but the magnitude of the current crisis requires a more expansive, expedient and uniform adoption."
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Founded in 1942, the