General Administrative Procedure Act (AVG)
As the name implies, the General Administrative Procedures Act lays down the basic principles for administrative procedures.
Article 13 of the AVG (Allgemeine Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz) is relevant to eGovernment in that it regulates the ways with which public authorities and citizens can communicate with each other, such the transmission of applications by e-mail or online forms. The public authority can also make an Internet announcement on its Web page which describes how and to which addresses that application forms can be sent electronically, whether an electronic signature is needed, and which formats are required for the electronic application (§13, Par. 2). Opening times must also be published on the Website (§13, Par. 5 AVG).
Section 18 AVG is decisive for settlements and the requirements of public documents. Documents from public authorities require either a handwritten signature, the certification by the issuing public authority or an official signature. Starting 1 January 2011, all documents from the public authorities which are issued electronically are required to bear an official signature.