The certification and accreditation of the first PSDC (Provider of Digitisation and Conservation Services), on February 1st, 2017, marked the implementation of the law of July 25th, 2015 on electronic archiving, and the establishment of the chain of digital trust. A year and a half after its implementation two PSDC-DC companies, Lab Luxembourg S.A. (Labgroup) and Numen, decided to present the progress of the status and to make a first assessment, by organising a private conference about this subject.
Back to the beginning:
At the European level, this is the European regulation eIDAS (Electronic Identification and Trust Services) n°910/2014, fully implemented since July 1st, 2016, which permitted to demonstrate the willingness of member states to democratise digitisation by: – enhancing the security of electronic exchanges; – recognising the universal value of the electronic signature; – granting a legal value to a digital document (non-discrimination principle of the digital evidence to courts).
Luxembourg was the first country in Europe to establish a legal system that supports electronic archiving while committing the state via the certification of trusted service providers. The law of July 25th, 2015 relating to electronic archiving recognises the probative value of electronic copies of paper documents, produced by a certified PSDC respecting all conditions of strict accuracy to the original, and gives them a presumption of conformity to the original.
The PSDC certification is issued by a certification body accredited by the Luxembourg Office of Accreditation and Surveillance (OLAS) before obtaining approval by the Luxembourg Institute of Standardisation, Accreditation, Safety and Quality of products and services (ILNAS). ILNAS registers the relevant organisation in the list of PSDC companies (specifying certification processes) thus establishing the PSDC status.
The PSDC-DC status is defined as: – Provider of Digitisation Services, in other words, an organisation authorised to create legal electronic copies of paper documents; – Provider of Conservation Services, which guarantees the integrity, confidentiality and durability of electronic archives throughout their retention period.
Labgroup and Numen both obtained PSDC certification before being accredited by ILNAS.
The combination of skills by these two major players in Luxembourg is proving successful for several years now. Indeed, in 2015 Labgroup and Numen Europe decided to combine their expertise to be able to handle the entire lifecycle of physical and electronic documents from their collection to the certified destruction. Together, the companies can guarantee a continuity of the operations thanks to the redundancy of their resources and certifications. The University of Luxembourg, the European Parliament and Raiffeisen Bank are among their renowned customers, highlighting the efficiency of the combined services of both partners.
As part of the law of July 25th, 2015 about electronic archiving, Luxembourg now counts six PSDC including:
- 3 specialised providers, certified PSDC-DC
- 1 certified company PSDC-DC for 1 client
- 1 trade union and 1 public institution, certified PSDC-Conservation
This relatively small number can be explained by the substantial investments a company need to plan if it wishes to obtain the PSDC status.
In order to draw a first assessment, a year and a half after the implementation of the PSDC status, the two companies of legal electronic archiving organised a private conference on October 4th, 2018; an opportunity to explain the evolution of this status as well as the actual efficiency of a digital process.
An interactive conference presenting the status, its regulatory framework and its legal specificities was organised that morning. A first assessment was drawn answering the three following questions:
- What about the position of the PSDC status at the international level?
Luxembourg’s neighbours are democratising in turn digitisation! Luxembourg, being the first country to create a specific framework, neighbouring countries have not failed to follow the digital trend by creating a legal framework that supports the “paperless” process, thus completing the eIDAS regulation (in Belgium the Digital Act and in France the NF-461 standard & NF Z 42-026 standard). The presence of the “trusted service provider” status is considerably strengthened, allowing recognition of the PSDC status at the international level.
- PSDC – Quo vadis?
As much as the issue of electronic archiving represents a current challenge to companies, the decisions to take the leap delay! In terms of investments, this is not a priority. The decision cycle is prolonged, and too often, the projects are still in the initial stage, in the process of reflection (take a step back to see the big picture?). To date, about ten organisations are in the stage of taking advantage of the PSDC, but the process remains slow. The market is still evolving, but is growing fast with the combination of the electronic archiving and the electronic signature; a complementarity between the Luxembourgish legal framework allowing to accelerate and expand digital transformation and the eIDAS, which gives a European legal value to digital trust services, such as electronic signature and timestamp.
- Homo Papyrus vs Homo Digitalis: the hidden costs issue.
Customers who took the plunge notice a decrease in costs and an increase in customer service quality. A better knowledge sharing, a decline of information loss risks, a guarantee of data privacy … the benefits are numerous. However, the real benefits often come in terms of “hidden savings”; ex. How much is the worth of time of a manager who takes 15 minutes per day to sign paper contracts? What is the cost of a paper process vs a dematerialised process?
The PSDC status requires upstream work, a certain digital maturity/stability of a structure, long before its implementation. The digitisation in a whole includes different stages. The First step? Shut off the “paper production” tap by dematerialising the exchanges, then by dematerialising the processes.
As a service provider of IT solutions, hosting and dematerialisation, Numen is committed to working with their customers in their digital transformation projects, optimising customer relations and back offices, managing their documents and enhancing their cultural and sensitive contents. With 980 experienced employees, Numen is a reliable technological partner for more than 500 clients, varying form banking, insurance, real estate, medical, publishing, distribution, culture, industry, human resources, as well as European institutions and public organisations. With 50 years of expertise and its local (9 regional implementation) and European presence and its center of development and BPO in Madagascar, the company has an annual turnover in excess of 65 million euros. For further information: www.numen.fr – www.linkedin.com/company/494479 / – www.numeneurope.com/en/ – www.linkedin.com/company/numen-europe/
Labgroup is a Luxembourg-based company that provides information management & archiving services to a large range of organisations and institutions. Since 1977, Labgroup has endeavoured to assist its clients in their digitisation eﬀorts by oﬀering adapted services and solutions for electronic data management. Labgroup offers the complete range of Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) solutions and services including digitising of paper documents, storing and destroying physical archives, capturing and conserving electronic archives, protecting and restoring data, preserving IT media and giving consulting services and training. Our professional services team provides advice regarding archiving policy, records management and compliance. Labgroup is an international company with business activities on five continents. Labgroup’s mission is to enable organisations to maintain compliance with legal obligations whilst enhancing the efficiency of their information management. For further information: www.labgroup.com
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