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Implementation partner sought for National E-Conveyancing System

by David Shi •
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A National E-Conveyancing system is one step closer to becoming a reality, and the authority behind the project is in the process of selecting an IT development partner to design build and run the interstate Electronic Conveyancing Platform.

One of the outcomes of the February 2011 meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) was that all Australian State and Territory Governments agreed to develop a governance framework for the long awaited establishment of the National System. 

Initially proposed at a meeting between Registrars in March 2005, the National E-Conveyancing System has been on the COAG agenda since early 2008.

As part of a range of COAG initiatives, which are intended to create a seamless national economy, E-conveyancing will provide an electronic business environment for completing property transactions before they are lodged with Land Registries.

By removing the manual steps currently in place, the new system should enable faster lodgement of title changes between transacting parties.

With the Australian residential conveyancing market estimated to be worth $2.4 billion, it is forecast to boost overall productivity by drastically streamlining multi-party purchases, which account for over 80% of the market’s total value.

Established under a Governance Agreement in January 2010, the National E-Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL) was given the task of developing and implementing the National E-Conveyancing System.

The NECDL Board includes representatives from the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Queensland Treasury and Victoria’s Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Studies conducted by the NECDL show that an external business operator would be the most efficient provider for the service and as a result, the NECDL is currently seeking a suitable IT solutions partner to build and operate the E-Conveyancing System. 

A spokesperson for the NECDL said that the organisation is currently considering a shortlist of vendors but has yet to make a final selection.

In a media release, NECDL Chairman Alan Cameron said that the authority was looking for, “a business partnership with a major solution provider. This is central to providing the range and depth of experience necessary to develop and operate an e-conveyancing platform across all states and territories.”

The successful vendor will be expected to build the electronic system to meet the following outcomes:

  • Electronically preparing the land title instruments necessary to register changes in property ownership and interests;
  • Settling financial transactions such as property settlement monies, payment of duties, taxes and any disbursements;
  • Lodging land title instruments for registration;
  • Receiving prompt confirmation of lodgement and registration in land title instruments; and
  • Integrating with existing state-based e-conveyancing systems.

“This is the most expensive and difficult part of the national enterprise and it ensures that there is no easy way into the market: significant up-front investment is required with the use of an e-conveyancing hub,” said NECDL’s CEO, Marcus Price.

“The NECDL now has in place a CIO as well as a number of contractors to help deliver the requirements of the plan….Our stakeholders will see a ramp-up in activity and engagement in the development of the e-conveyancing solution,” said Mr Price.

Appointed in late January 2011, the NECDL’s Chief Information Officer, Chris Amirtharajah, is currently responsible for meeting the agency’s IT requirements.

Amirtharajah is the former Global Head of IT for ANZ’s Institutional Bank, and has also held positions with the London Stock Exchange and Lehmann Brothers.

“Chris’ achievements and skills will provide NECDL with the professionalism and strategic vision required for the next development phase of the project,” said Cameron.

It is expected that the new e-conveyancing system will go live by December 2011. The COAG implementation timetable for the system can be seen here in full.

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