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SNL1997 CHAPTER B-12

BUSINESS ELECTRONIC FILING ACT

Amended:

CHAPTER B-12

AN ACT TO ENABLE INFORMATION TO BE FILED ELECTRONICALLY BY BUSINESS

(Assented to December 19, 1997)

Analysis



Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:

Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as theBusiness Electronic Filing Act .

1997 cB-12 s1

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "business" means

                      (i)  a person authorized or entitled to carry on a trade, occupation, profession, service or venture with a view to profit, including a partnership and a limited partnership, and

                     (ii)  a society, non-profit corporation or Crown corporation,

and, where the context requires, includes a person establishing a business under a designated enactment;

             (b)  "designated enactment" means an Act or regulation made under that Act which requires information, forms or fees under that enactment to be filed with government;

             (c)  "file" means to file, register, submit, deposit, make an application or otherwise make available;

             (d)  "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act; and

             (e)  "officer", in relation to the Crown, includes a member of the Executive Council and a servant or employee of the Crown.

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Power to designate enactments

        3. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may designate any enactment for the purpose of this Act.

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Information filed electronically

        4. (1) Information filed under this Act or a designated enactment may be in an electronic format as prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  Information may be filed in an electronic format if it is recorded on a system of electronic data storage that, in the opinion of the person who is responsible for the maintenance of the information filed, is capable of being read by the computer or other equipment used in the information filing system.

             (3)  Where a designated enactment provides that a certified copy of a document filed under that enactment be made available and the information is filed in an electronic format, a document that is a certified copy of the information filed may be provided.

             (4)  A document that is a certified copy of information filed in an electronic format has the same evidentiary value and may be used in the same manner as a certified copy of a document made available under a designated enactment.

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Time and date of filing

        5. (1) Where information is filed by direct electronic transmission, the time or date of filing is the time or date assigned under this Act.

             (2)  A form filed in an electronic form has the same effect to all purposes as if the form were in writing and as if the form were signed by any party that would have been required to sign the form, but for the fact it was filed electronically.

             (3)  Information filed electronically under this Act is considered to be filed for the purpose of the designated enactment.

             (4)  A regulation made under subsection (1) may prescribe all the requirements that are necessary in the circumstances to achieve the objective of the regulation, including, in consultation with the minister responsible for a designated Act, adjusting the amount of the fees that businesses are required to pay under designated enactments.

             (5)  Nothing in this section affects a provision in a designated enactment with respect to the maintenance of separate funds or the priority of entitlements to funds under the designated enactment.

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Approval of forms by minister

        6. The minister may approve forms that have the same effect as forms prescribed or approved by a member of the Executive Council or board or agency, under a designated enactment or the minister may combine forms into a single form and may adapt the form as is necessary in the circumstances for the purpose of a designated enactment.

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Filing and accessing of information

        7. (1) Information that businesses are required to file or are authorized to access under a designated enactment may be filed or accessed by a person who is authorized to do so by the minister or by a person who is a member of a class of persons authorized to do so.

             (2)  The minister may attach conditions to an authorization given under subsection (1).

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Right to deduct compensation

        8. Any party prescribed by the regulations or a person referred to in subsection 9(3), that receives a payment of fees, taxes, interest, penalties or other charges under this Act or a designated enactment on behalf of a member of the Executive Council by the debit card, credit card or preauthorized charge of the institution or person, or by another method of payment acceptable to the Minister of Finance, may deduct from the payment the amount of compensation that the Minister of Finance and the other party or person agree may be deducted.

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Business registration access service

        9. (1) Where the minister has made a regulation under section 15 unifying procedures for business to apply for licences and permits under designated enactments, the minister may establish a business registration access service to receive the applications and to issue the licences and permits.

             (2)  The minister may appoint an officer of the Crown or enter into an agreement with any other person to perform any function or service under a designated enactment for the purpose of this Act.

             (3)  A person who, under an agreement referred to in subsection (2), is required to perform a function or service is not considered to be an officer of the Crown for the purpose of the function or service.

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Business identifiers

     10. The minister may establish a system of business identifiers and provide for the manner in which business identifiers are to be assigned or used by a business or a class of businesses.

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Unified database

     11. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may establish a unified database for information required to be maintained under designated enactments and provide for the creation of, maintenance of, access to and use of the database.

             (2)  The minister is responsible for the supervision of a database established under this section.

             (3)  Where the minister receives information under this Act or a designated enactment, the minister may disclose the information to

             (a)  a member of the Executive Council for the purpose of the administration of a designated enactment, including the updating of a record or database;

             (b)  a municipality, province of Canada or government in accordance with an agreement between the municipality, province or government and the Crown; or

             (c)  a person,

                      (i)  whom the minister has authorized to access the information in the prescribed manner, or

                     (ii)  with whom the minister has entered into an agreement regarding the use of the information.

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Power to prescribe standards

     12. The minister may prescribe standards that persons are required to comply with for the purpose of this Act in the definition, collection, transmission and presentation of information under this Act, or in the provision of services under a designated enactment, or adopt those standards by reference.

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Time of filing

     13. Where a document is to be filed on or by a specified day, documents filed after the time of closing of normal business hours of the government department responsible for recording or accepting the electronic filing of documents shall be considered to be filed on the next business day.

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Effect of conflict

     14. Where there is a conflict between this Act or the regulations made under this Act and a designated enactment or regulations made under a designated enactment, this Act and regulations shall prevail.

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Regulations

     15. The minister may make regulations

             (a)  governing the filing of information and prescribing the electronic format or the method of direct electronic transmission;

             (b)  authorizing or requiring information that businesses are required to file under this Act or a designated enactment to be filed

                      (i)  and maintained in an electronic or other prescribed format,

                     (ii)  by direct electronic transmission to an electronic database,

                    (iii)  governing the time of filing assigned when the information is filed in electronic format or by direct electronic transmission,

                    (iv)  at a designated place in respect of which information may be filed,

                     (v)  in forms to be signed by electronic signature or by signature copied or reproduced in a prescribed manner, or

                    (vi)  without signature;

             (c)  unifying financial and statistical reporting requirements and unifying procedures for businesses to file information under designated statutes;

             (d)  requiring renewal of licences or filings under designated enactments, with or without conditions;

             (e)  providing for the use that businesses are required to make of the system of business identifiers;

              (f)  defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act; and

             (g)  respecting any matter considered necessary to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.

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RSN1990 cE-16 Amdt.

      16. Section 29 of the Evidence Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Entries on government books

      29. (1) A certified copy of an electronically filed document recorded in a department of the government shall be received as evidence of that document and of the matters, transactions and accounts recorded, where it is proved by the oath or affidavit of an officer of that department that the document was, at the time of the filing of the document, one of the ordinary documents stored electronically in that department, that the entry was made in the usual and ordinary course of business of that department and that the copy is a true copy.

             (2)  A computer generated record of any transaction stored in electronic format in a department of the government shall be received as evidence of that record and of the matters, transactions and accounts recorded where it is proved by the oath or affidavit of an officer of that department that the record was, at the time of filing of the record, one of the ordinary records stored electronically in that department, that the entry was made in the usual and ordinary course of business of that department and that the copy is a true copy.