A national e-conveyancing system is the latest cross-jurisdictional ICT solution to emerge in the Australian public sector, with initial rollout complete in a number of states.
The e-conveyancing system intends to provide an electronic platform for property transactions that streamlines interactions between individuals, lawyers and government agencies. It will integrate with state and territory systems to simplify cross-jurisdictional deals, while allowing states and territories to maintain control over separate land ownership and titling laws.
The first stage of the system has been successfully implemented in Queensland, Victoria and NSW, according to Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps.
“We have joined Victoria and New South Wales as early enablers of e-conveyancing for property related transactions”, said Cripps.
All Australian states and the Northern Territory will complete the first stage of implementation, which allows for the lodgement of property mortgages online, before 2015.
“The majority of mortgages lodged online will be registered within minutes instead of the current one or two day turnaround,” Cripps said.
The second stage is expected to follow, and will expand the system beyond mortgages to property and title transactions. It will also allow access for lawyers conducting transactions on behalf of clients.
“The national e-conveyancing system will allow the settlement and lodgement of documents through a nationally accessible system, no matter where the land and the parties are located,” according to Cripps. “The system will be fast and secure and will allow subscribers to interact with the land title registries at various stages to transfer data, alert parties of relevant activity and confirm accuracy before lodgement.”
Planning for the system began in 2011 following the establishment of National E-Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL) in January 2010. NECDL has been tasked with managing the development and implementation of the long-awaited system, which has been in the pipelines since an initial proposal in 2005.
Land conveyancing joins a number of other cross-jurisdictional functions that governments are attempting to improve and simplify through the introduction of national ICT systems.
Another area for national coordination is ballistics identification. A national system will aim to enable the sharing of information between various law enforcement agencies and enable the improved tracking of firearms that cross territory lines.
The 2013-14 Federal Budget provided $9.1 million in funding over four years for the implementation of a nationally-accessible database on weapons recovered by law enforcement agencies across Australia.
The potential for a national system to manage clearances for individuals working with children is being considered by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. A cross-jurisdictional system could improve the scope of criminal background checks and simplify the process of identity verification and clearance issuance.
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