DesktopSigner – Signing within the Federal Administration

Federal Administration employees can create PDF/A documents via the internal business management system, GEVER, or by using specialised applications.

The DesktopSigner Standard Service (SS) is the new application in the Federal Administration with which PDF documents created can be signed or sealed electronically using signature keys or certificates on a smart card (locally) or server-based, i.e. with certificates stored on a centralised hardware security module (HSM). The application is integrated into software layer 1 and can be used by all Federal Administration employees.

DesktopSigner replaces Open eGov LocalSigner, which previously had been used in the Federal Administration and was also made available to the public as a freeware download. Further maintenance and provision of Open eGov LocalSigner was discontinued by the Federal Government due to the lack of a basis for procurement. DesktopSigner will not be made available for download by the public for licensing reasons.

Guidance for Federal Administration employees

With DesktopSigner, it is only possible to insert an image of the personal signature in the visible representation of the signature with qualified certificates and regulated seals. For technical reasons, no image of the personal signature can be inserted when signing with the advanced certificate on a smart card. A symbol for the type of certificate used is now permanently inserted in the visible representation of the signature for all signatures. Furthermore, the visible representation of the signature is of fixed size and can no longer be scaled during signing.