Public authorities have an electronic signature, just like citizens, referred to as the official signature, which they can use to sign contracts digitally. The official signature is affixed to documents, to denote them as being official documents from the public authority. The public authority can be identified by means of the official signature. The signature also ensures that the document can be verified.
The official signature must possess certain attributes, which verify the signature itself and confirm the validity of the document even when a copy is printed on paper. The Austrian eGovernment Act states in §19 that, in addition to the logo and the signature verification information, an indicator must be included that shows that the document was officially signed by the authority. It would make sense for this indicator to have a standard design so that everyone involved in eGovernment can easily recognize an official signature, whether citizen, business or public authority.
The Federal Chancellery makes modules available free-of-charge, which can be integrated into an online application or into the citizen card software on the respective government IT infrastructure. Central IT service providers in government also offer the official signature as a shared service, so that an internal solution is not necessary with the government.