LC Paper No. CB(1) 140/99-00(02)

Outline of Proposed Committee Stage
Amendments to the
Electronic Transactions Bill

ClauseExplanatory Notes
1. Clause 3

To use a general form of wording to cover all three scenarios of "be in writing, given or presented in writing"

To simplify the provision.
2. Clause 5

Same as in Clause 3.

To simplify the provision.
3. Clause 16

To amend the clause so as to protect the common law principle that the offeror may specify the means of acceptance of an offer in contract formation.

To provide that where an electronic record is wholly or partly used in the formation of a contract, that contract shall not be denied validity or enforceability on the sole ground that an electronic record was used for the purpose.

To provide flexibility for parties for entering into contract with the use of electronic records by allowing the offeror to specify, when making the offer, that the offer cannot be accepted by means of electronic records.

To provide greater flexibility for the use of electronic records in contract formation.
4. Clause 22(4)

To provide that the Director of Information Technology Services has to give reasons in the notice for revocation of recognition of certification authority.

To assist the certification authority concerned in its preparation for an appeal.
5. Schedule 1

To add section 16 to the heading.

To expand Schedule 1 to cover also a floating charge and a fixed charge as described in sections 2A(1) and (2) of the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap 128).

To delete "an estate agency agreement entered into between an estate agent and its clients".

To address a minor omission.

These are also documents relating to land/property transactions which have to be in writing.

The Estate Agents Authority Administration has further examined the issue and considered the exemption not necessary.
6. New Clause

To introduce a new clause to the effect that clauses 5, 6 and 7 do not apply to any requirement or permission to give or present information in writing, requirement for the signature of a person; requirement for information to be presented in its original form under a rule of law if neither the party which gives or presents the information in writing, or gives the signature, or presents the information in its original form nor the party which receives the information or signature is a public body within the meaning of section 3 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap 1) unless there is an agreement between the two parties that the information can be given or presented in the form of an electronic record or the signature can be a digital signature.

To allow for flexibility for non-Government parties to agree amongst themselves as to whether electronic record/digital signature should be used in satisfying a requirement under a rule of law for one party to provide information or to sign a document for presenting to the other party.