In its response to the DTI's consultation on the draft Electronic Communications Bill the faculty supports the Government's intention to legislate in 2000.But it has told the DTI that the current proposals create far too much scope for ministers to modify more than 400 existing laws which require or specify manual rather than electronic processes. It warns that these modifications could be done in ways that may prove to be inconsistent and incompatible, thereby increasing the legal complexities, confusing people and creating different conditions and requirements in relation to different uses of e-commerce - so discouraging electronic commerce instead of facilitating it.'This could make business decisions on electronic business communication over-dependent on understanding the small print of secondary legislation', said John Court, the IT Faculty Manager. 'This would be particularly unhelpful for SMEs.'The IT Faculty suggest that it would be much simpler and more straightforward if the use of electronic communications or storage were to be explicitly permitted by law in all cases where there was no specific reason to forbid it.
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