Summary of LB7
LB7 modifies Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-3437, part of the Nebraska Engineers and Architects Regulation Act. This statute required licensed architects and professional engineers to obtain a seal and place it on documents the preparation of which constitutes the practice of architecture or engineering in Nebraska. The modification was driven by today’s increasingly electronic business environment and was intended to eliminate the provisions in subsection (3)(b) regarding the usage of an electronic revision approval system for use with electronic seals and signatures.
Since this particular provision was enacted in 1998, the Board of Engineers and Architects has found that these approval systems are cumbersome and very expensive. Even the largest architectural and engineering organizations in Nebraska do not utilize such a system noting its expense. More importantly, while an electronic revision approval system may reduce the risks associated with electronic transmission of technical documents and drawings, it does not prevent those with malicious intent from misappropriating technical documents and drawings. Given the large numbers of documents produced every year with signed and dated seals, the availability of high resolution scanners, and the growing usage of electronically-transmitted documents, an individual with malicious intent will be able to produce an electronic signature or seal on a document despite the existence of an electronic revision approval system.
The language is purposely broad, and will allow the Board to react efficiently through its rules and regulations to emerging technologies related to a licensee’s seal and its use.
Representatives of professional societies that represent architects and professional engineers have been instrumental in drafting this modification and are supportive of the changes.
The rest of the proposed changes are editorial and a reorganization of existing language for clarity. The Board plans on making these rules modifications in 2013.