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  1. 1. HM LAND REGISTRY THE E-BUSINESS STRATEGY 2001-2011 CONTENTS: 1. Introduction 2 2. Aim and Objectives 3 Aim 3 Objectives 3 3. Service Delivery Agreement (SDA) 3 4. Customer-Focused Services 4 External Customers 4 Internal Customers 5 IT Infrastructure 5 Electronic Office 5 Internet/Intranet 6 IT Skills Review 6 New Operating System 7 Intelligent Land Register 7 Wider Market Initiative 7 5. Progress to Date 8 6. Strategy for the Future 9 Supporting Government Policies, Strategies and Standards 9 Re-engineering Wider National Systems 11 Enhancing Existing Systems 12 Land Registration Services 13 UK Online 16 National Land Information Service (NLIS) 17 Electronic Conveyancing 17 7 Paying for e-business 19 Annex A 20 THE LAND REGISTRY’S STAKEHOLDERS 20 Annex B 21 PROGRESS TOWARDS THE PRIME MINISTER’S 2005 TARGETS 21 Annex C 22 SUMMARY OF EXPECTED COMPLETION TIMES 22
  2. 2. HM LAND REGISTRY THE E-BUSINESS STRATEGY 2001-2011 1. Introduction 1.1 In its White Paper, “Modernising Government” published in March 1999, the Government made a commitment to deliver more responsive public services that met the needs of citizens (not the convenience of the service providers) and to use new technology to meet the needs of citizens and businesses. In March 2000, the Prime Minister brought forward the original target for the delivery of all public services electronically from 2008 to 2005. 1.2 The Land Registry has a long history of reviewing and refining its business activities and there are a number of initiatives already planned or in place that are in keeping with the spirit of the White Paper. It views the Modernising Government agenda as an essential enabler to achieve its mission: “We strive to be recognised as the most professional, efficient and courteous public service organisation in the United Kingdom.” 1.3 In April 2001, the completed Quinquennial Review of the Land Registry was submitted to the Lord Chancellor’s Department. The external reviewer’s report, which runs to almost 400 pages, makes recommendations on the status of the Registry and on the way its business delivery could be developed and enhanced over the next 10 years. A number of recommendations concentrate on electronic service delivery. 1.4 The publication of the reviewer’s report was announced in Parliament on 26 June and the Land Registry is currently drawing up a 10-year business strategy that will take into account the report’s recommendations. 1.5 This E-Business Strategy Document does not take account of the recommendations in the report because these have yet to be considered by Ministers. However, the reviewer has in many areas endorsed existing policy and these are included in existing plans. 1.6 The Land Registry Board and the Business Development Group have both seen and endorsed this document. Members of these top management bodies act as Senior Responsible Owners for the Land Registry’s e-business programmes and the various projects which fall within those programmes. 2
  3. 3. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 2. Aim and Objectives 2.1 The Land Registry’s e-business strategy is an integral part of its 10 year strategic plan and is designed to support the organisation’s overall aim and objectives. Aim 2.2 Our aim is “to maintain and develop stable and effective land information systems for England and Wales.” Objectives 2.3 To maintain and develop a stable and effective land registration system throughout England and Wales as the cornerstone for the creation and free movement of interests in land. 2.4 On behalf of the Crown to guarantee title to registered estates and interests in land for the whole of England and Wales. 2.5 To provide ready access to up-to-date and guaranteed land information, so enabling confident dealings in property and security of title. 2.6 To provide a Land Charges and Agricultural Credits Service. 3. Service Delivery Agreement (SDA) 3.1 The Land Registry’s SDA targets were agreed with HM Treasury in October 2000 before completion of the Quinquennial Review. After consideration by ministers some of these targets may be amended. 3.2 Electronic Service Delivery: · 40% of its key services will be delivered electronically by 2001-2002, including the delivery of pre-completion services such as official searches, office copies, register and title plan views. · 80% will be delivered by 2002-2003, including any deed referred to on the register. Information will be available online over the Internet. · 100% will be delivered by the end of 2003-2004. 3.3 The Land Register · 97% of the Land Register will be converted to computerised format by 2001-2002. · 98% will be converted by 2002-2003. 3
  4. 4. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 · All will be converted by the end of 2003-2004. 3.4 Filed deeds referred to on the Land Register · 39 million pages of filed documents will be scanned by 2001-2002. · 67 million pages will be scanned by 2002-2003. · All pages will be scanned by the end of 2003-2004. 3.5 Electronic Conveyancing · By 2001-2002, land registration information and pre-completion applications will be delivered online over the Internet. · A new Land Registration Act will be introduced by 2002-2003 to facilitate electronic conveyancing. · A full trial of a basic e-conveyancing model will take place by 2002-2003. · In association with the Lord Chancellor’s Department, the uptake of electronic conveyancing will be promoted over a 10-year period so as to reach 20% by the end of 2003-2004. 4. Customer-Focused Services 4.1 Despite being a single function department providing a monopoly service, the Land Registry consciously centres its business strategy on customer needs. Prompt delivery of accurate and inexpensive land registration services to its customers is of paramount importance in determining future business developments. External Customers 4.2 A majority of the Land Registry’s external customers are professional representatives of those citizens who are transacting in land or property (conveyancing solicitors, building societies, banks etc). This means that the Land Registry is, to an extent, hidden from the general public. Opportunities are therefore taken to advertise and demonstrate the Registry’s services at exhibitions, county shows etc and by holding “open days” at the district land registries. However, in terms of customer need, it is the professional representative that the Registry has concentrated on in order to test the effectiveness and efficiency of its service delivery, to identify where the gaps exist and to take positive action to make improvements. 4.3 Formal customer surveys have been carried out annually since 1989 and suggested areas for improvement from those surveys built into the Registry’s corporate and business planning processes where it is practical to do so. The results from the latest survey show that 99% of respondents were satisfied with the Registry’s service. Although an excellent result, the Registry is conscious that it must continue to improve by actively pursuing its programme of electronic service delivery. 4
  5. 5. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 4.4 The Land Registry’s external customers also include a number of other public sector organisations such as: · Companies House. · The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; · Inland Revenue Stamp Office; and · The Valuation Office Agency. 4.5 In addition to being included in formal customer surveys, public sector organisations are also included on the interdepartmental steering groups which are set up when appropriate to co-ordinate the interests of the various bodies, for example the interdepartmental steering group on electronic conveyancing (see paragraph 6.745). Internal Customers 4.6 The Land Registry currently employs about 7,800 staff, a majority of whom work at the 24 district offices. It is essential that all staff have the necessary tools to provide an efficient and effective service in the 21st Century and thereby obtain maximum satisfaction from their work. 4.7 Regular staff surveys are carried out to ensure that employees have the opportunity to express their views about all aspects of their working life and that suggested improvements are considered and acted upon. IT Infrastructure 4.8 The Land Registry’s distributed IT infrastructure has been reviewed and the maintenance and future upgrading is being pursued under private sector partnership arrangements established under contract awarded to Compaq in July 1999. The Land Registry is committed to providing an IT infrastructure that is high quality, reliable, secure and scaleable. This ensures that employees have available reliable and modern IT systems which will enhance their service delivery. Electronic Office 4.9 This provides PCs and supporting infrastructure on the basic principle of one PC per member of staff in post. Without this facility, initiatives like e- conveyancing would be difficult to realise. The programme to make all 24 district offices fully electronic was completed in July 2001. 5
  6. 6. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 Internet/Intranet 4.10 Following the attainment of GSI accreditation, external e-mail capabilities have been provided to appropriate staff. A programme of Internet access via GSI on the basis of priority business need has also been taken forward. 4.11 An Intranet has been established and its content is being regularly reviewed and updated. IT Skills Review 4.12 The Land Registry currently employs approximately 250 staff in its Computer Services Division based at Plymouth. 4.13 A review, using outside consultants (Logica), was carried out between March and May 2000 to assess the IT skills available to the Registry and benchmark those skills against similar organisations in the public and private sectors. The terms of reference were: · To evaluate the nature and level of resources and skills required to ensure the timely delivery of the products and services described in the Registry’s Information and Communications Technology Strategy (ICTS) Report (2000/2005). · To review the level of IT human resources and skills currently available or planned and identify any actual or potential shortfalls against requirements. · To develop strategies that conform with the policies in the ICTS Report for the provision of required resources throughout and beyond the timescale of the ICTS Report. This will include strategies for training, internal re- deployment, inward and outward secondment, recruitment, consultancy advice and assistance, strategic partnerships and outsourcing. 4.14 In the light of the Quinquennial Review recommendations, further consideration has been given to the staffing levels necessary to undertake the IT projects and developments set out in the Registry's 10-year strategic business plan. Based on the ICTS Report, Logica recommended staffing levels in the region of 375. However, to provide adequate IT support for the Registry's future "core" business (including extended opening hours); electronic conveyancing, the development of the Registry's Intranet and Website and the introduction of a new, Euro-compliant, accounting system, the Land Registry Board has acknowledged that a Computer Services workforce of approximately 500 would now appear to be required. 6
  7. 7. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 New Operating System 4.15 In June 2001, the Land Registry installed the latest version of the operating system (OS/390 2.10) onto its central mainframe production computer. This migration, from version 2.8, involved the customisation and implementation of changes to over 50 software products forming the base elements and optional features of the operating system and associated software products. 4.16 The new operating system has a specific focus on e-business of the type associated with the National Land Information Service (NLIS), security and availability enhancements for e-business applications and for the standard communications protocol TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). This will enable corporate data to be provided more reliably and securely to our external customers. There are also facilities to improve the management of the fluctuating workload associated with e-business transactions. 4.17 Significantly, it also positions the Land Registry to be able to take advantage of the enhanced addressing capability of the latest hardware. From an end-user perspective, this increase in the capacity of processor storage means that more data will be able to be held within the processor itself, improving efficiency and reducing the need to transfer data between different types of storage. This will reduce the need to access external storage devices and so improve CPU response times. Intelligent Land Register 4.18 The restructuring of register data is a prerequisite to electronic conveyancing, to avoid unnecessary re-keying and the possibility of errors this creates. This will also facilitate exploitation of the database. A project is underway to investigate the feasibility of: · making register data interactive with systems that view, create, amend or delete it; · rationalising the duplication of data regarding property, proprietorship and charge information; and · making links between data on the register, filed plan and filed deeds. Wider Market Initiative 4.19 The Land Registry maintains one of the largest databases of land information in the world and, in accordance with the Government’s Wider Market initiative, 7
  8. 8. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 announced in 1998, has engaged consultancy advice to identify appropriate potential new areas of business in order to exploit Land Registry data and diversify activities. 4.20 A full list of customers and stakeholders is at Annex A. 5. Progress to Date 5.1 Since the mid-1970s, the Land Registry’s electronic service delivery has been enhanced through the following activities. 5.2 Compulsory registration on sale of land was seen as an essential first step towards simplifying and unifying the conveyancing procedure. This was introduced in London in 1898 and progressively extended to all areas of England and Wales. The final extension was introduced at the end of 1990 along with the opening of the Land Register to public inspection under the Land Registration Act 1988. 5.3 A Computerised Application Processing System (CAPS) was installed at every district land registry (DLR) during the late 1980s and early 1990s. This marked a major stage in the development of electronic processing of registrations and ready access to land information in England and Wales. CAPS continues to be developed in order to provide a more streamlined service to the Registry’s customers. 5.4 To make CAPS fully effective, almost 13 million manual title registers were converted to computerised format, in-house, over a number of years. The Land Register now comprises 18 million titles, of which 97% are capable of electronic delivery. 5.5 These innovations were seen as the first phase in the development of a fully integrated Land Register. The second phase, that of scanning 18 million paper title plans, to enable them to be viewed electronically by staff and by customers using Land Registry Direct, has now been completed through private sector partnership. In a parallel development, and with other private sector partners, the Registry is introducing computer mapping, which enables vectorised maps to be created for all new title registrations. 5.6 The final phase, the conversion of deeds referred to on the register (involving the scanning of approximately 95 million pages) will be completed in 2004. Scanned deeds will be made progressively available online during the course of the project. 5.7 The Land Registry offers conveyancers, through eight Telephone Service Centres, an online service to obtain details of the current state of any register and carry out a wide range of related transactions. A significant percentage of 8
  9. 9. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 our customers have told us that delivery of services by telephone is (and is likely to remain) their preferred choice and the Registry believes that effective telephone-based services will remain vital for the foreseeable future. A new PC-based client/server system is currently being developed. 5.8 “Land Registry Direct”, a web-based direct access service, was launched in 2000 to provide customers who hold an account with the Land Registry with access to all computerised registers, plans and, progressively from 2001, deeds referred to on the register, together with other land registration services. 5.9 The National Land Information Service (NLIS) is being developed with local government and private sector partners as a single point of entry for the electronic delivery of land and property-related information over the Internet. In the first instance, this will start to deliver Land Registry and local authority data by Autumn 2001. 5.10 From this brief overview, it can be seen that the Land Registry has anticipated the White Paper’s thrust towards electronic government and is well on its way to achieving the Prime Minister’s 2005 target. Our programme of work is shown at Annex B. 6. Strategy for the Future 6.1 This section provides more detail of the major projects that the Land Registry will be undertaking to maintain improvements to the services it provides and to continue to meet the needs of its external and internal customers. A summary of expected completion times of the main activities is shown at Annex C. Supporting Government Policies, Strategies and Standards 6.2 In developing its services for the future, the Land Registry has been careful to take account of the wider needs of government and to comply with national standards and guidelines. Modernising Government 6.3 The Land Registry’s e–business strategy takes into account the recommendations from the PIU Report on Electronic Government Services for the 21st Century. The action points arising from the Report “Successful IT: Modernising Government in Action” are being addressed through a separate project. It also incorporates its own in-house strategy document “Information and Communications Technology Strategy 2000/2005” produced in 2000. 9
  10. 10. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF) 6.4 The Land Registry is committed to the introduction and use of the technical standards and policies defined within the e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF). In the development and delivery of information systems, the Registry adheres to the standards published. For example, the Unified Modelling Language (UML) is used during system design. The Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) provides the standard for defining data for exchange with third parties such as the National Land Information Service (NLIS). Schemas have recently been agreed and these will be published on the Govtalk website. 6.5 The Land Registry has one of the largest image databases in Europe. These images are compressed in the approved .jpg and .tif formats. The Registry has recently invested in mainframe software which will allow these images to be processed to suit individual customer requirements better, e.g. to incorporate them into .pdf documents for viewing via Adobe Acrobat or to alter the resolution in order to minimise download time. 6.6 The Land Registry's WAP content is compliant with WAP1.2.1. The service runs on our public Web Server and provides a text only view of selected data from our primary Website. The Land Registry does not currently operate its own WAP gateway to deliver services but relies on the gateway services provided by end users’ network service providers over which the Land Registry has no control. Any future enhancements to take account of current and future mobile network infrastructure changes, such as General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Universal Mobile Telephone Service (UMTS), will be compliant with the specification current at that time. Electronic Records Management 6.7 Over 90% of all Land Registry records (ie the Register of Title, filed plans and associated documents) are already in electronic format and are available in “real time” to staff and external customers. 6.8 The Land Registry recognises that an effective system of electronic records management (ERM) is a vital prerequisite to effective electronic service delivery. ERM is essential to support the concept of the electronic office (paragraph 4.9 above) and to meet the Registry’s statutory obligations, especially those flowing from the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 6.9 In order to meet the Government’s 2004 target, the Land Registry has set up a separate project, under the responsibility of the Director of Facilities and Director of IT, with the aim of establishing an ERM system to enable the Land Registry’s records to be stored and retrieved electronically thus ending the 10
  11. 11. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 dependency on paper files. A project initiation document has been prepared. The system will facilitate responses to any request made under the Freedom of Information Act. 6.10 The Public Record Office “Model Action Plan” for developing records management compliant with the Lord Chancellor’s Code of Practice will play a pivotal role in the project’s progress. The Government Gateway 6.11 It is also our intention to ensure that all electronic services introduced for the use of the citizen will be made available via the Government Gateway wherever practicable. Programme and Project Management 6.12 At present, the Land Registry is running more than two dozen projects dealing with the electronic delivery of services. All Registry projects are structured and managed using PRINCE 2 methodology. In all cases, project approval (including budget approval) is given either by the Business Development Group or the Land Registry Board. All projects are assigned to programmes that have a Senior Responsible Owner at Board level. Corporate Governance 6.13 The Land Registry Board has embraced the Turnbull Report on corporate governance and accepts the need to adopt a risk-based approach to establishing an effective system of internal control. A project has been set up to research and develop a structured approach to risk management in the Land Registry. Re-engineering Wider National Systems 6.14 As electronic communication becomes the norm throughout business, commerce and the public services, the Land Registry will have the opportunity to lead real and lasting improvements to the house buying process. A paperless, electronic system of conveyancing is very likely to mean that the process of registration will be integrated with the house buying system itself. The enhanced role envisaged for the Land Registry will enable it to make a real contribution to reducing or removing the shortcomings in the present conveyancing system, which can cause so much trauma for ordinary property owning citizens. 6.15 Subject to the Lord Chancellor’s approval, the ultimate objective of the Electronic Conveyancing Programme will be to use the opportunities provided by the new technologies to re-engineer the wider national systems for property 11
  12. 12. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 transactions – in particular the buying, selling and registration of land and property, for the benefit of all involved in such transactions. 6.16 It is envisaged that this re-engineered system will include the following innovative features: · Online validation of all relevant property data between private practitioners and Central and local government data sources. · Transparent conveyancing chains – joining-up all the parties to the network of transactions in the chain. · Removal of paper from the conveyancing process – by introducing electronic certificates and deeds; and · The use of Digital Signatures and PKI with potential availability down to the citizen level. · Simultaneous electronic exchange of contracts and completion; · Instantaneous electronic settlement of payments due between all the parties concerned in property transactions, especially at completion, utilising real- time Electronic Funds Transfer. · Simultaneous land registration on completion Enhancing Existing Systems 6.17 The Land Registry’s information systems will be enhanced progressively so that by the end of 2005 they will provide the following: · The means for uninterrupted electronic access to registers, filed plans and other data by both business customers and citizens, world wide, 24 hours a day, seven days a week if the demand is established. · A user-friendly vector polygon structured electronic index map (see paragraph 6.19) providing a graphical means of access to registered title information. · Facilities allowing the main types of application concerning registered land to be delivered electronically. · Electronic lodgement of Land Registry applications, as a forerunner to electronic conveyancing, recommended in the report “Land Registration for the Twenty-First Century” published jointly by the Law Commission and the Land Registry in July 2001. This programme will introduce, over the next ten years, a radical overhaul of England and Wales’ conveyancing process in which the Land Registry will play an integral part at an earlier stage than at present. · Links to NLIS, providing a single point of entry for the user and allowing the Land Registry’s information services to be integrated with those of other 12
  13. 13. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 data providers through the adoption of the National Land and Property Gazetteer. · Electronic receipt of customer payments. · “Combined operations” facilities throughout the Registry allowing staff to deal with both the plans and legal elements of casework. · Electronic messaging and web browser facilities via the Internet, the Government Secure Intranet and the Land Registry’s own Intranet to a level that matches all business needs. · Modern client/server versions of the entire CAPS facilities. · Centralised production of all official copies of the Register of Title and Title Plan. · Up to date facilities for processing Land Charges applications dealing with unregistered land. · Euro-compliant financial systems. · Transparent access to the latest version of Ordnance Survey’s map base by Land Registry staff. · If possible, and in partnership with the Court Service, direct links to and from the Courts for the exchange of data for bankruptcy processing and enquiries. · Development of touch-screen kiosk services, if these prove feasible, in partnership with other departments and agencies of the Lord Chancellor. 6.18 The main e-business programmes and projects are as follows: Land Registration Services Vectorisation of the Index Map 6.19 The objective of this project is to create polygons for every registration existing on the paper Index Map of England and Wales and to link those polygons with the Computerised Property Description Database and Land Registry Property Gazetteer. This will create a vector Index Map that can be accessed by all users of the Registry’s Mapping System and external customers via LR Direct and NLIS. 13
  14. 14. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 6.20 A successful pilot project at the Weymouth District Land Registry has been followed by full implementation at other offices from August 2001. Completion is due in March 2004. The project is being funded from accumulated reserves as agreed with the Treasury. Real Time Priority 6.21 This project is a cornerstone for e-conveyancing, simplifying the rules regarding the delivery and priority of applications. 6.22 On 29 May 2001, the Land Registry extended “real time priority” to all substantive applications and official searches, ie they take their priority from the time and date each application or search is logged onto the Registry’s Day List. Previously, all substantive applications were deemed to be delivered immediately after 0930 hours and all paper and fax searches immediately before 0930 hours. This change is a vital step on the road to electronic conveyancing. 6.23 Where it is not possible to protect an interest with a priority official search, applicants will now be able to make an outline application and lodge the documentation later. Outline applications can only be made orally or electronically. The application will have real time priority from Day 1 on condition that the district office receives a paper application by midday on Day 4 that quotes the outline application reference. 6.24 From February 2002, we are planning for simple applications received electronically and which require no supporting deeds, such as the notification of death of a joint proprietor, to enjoy real time priority. Electronic Notification of Discharge (ENDS) 6.25 ENDS is a new service which enables lenders to notify the Land Registry electronically of a discharged charge thus speeding up the house buying transaction. By the end of 2002 we anticipate moving to fully electronic discharges, where staff at a lender’s office will give an electronic instruction directly to the Land Registry’s computer to cancel the relevant entries, without the need for Land Registry staff to be involved. Dematerialisation 6.26 The Land Registry has introduced an important contribution to paperless transactions. Dematerialisation is the procedure that enables mortgage lenders to forego the receipt of a charge certificate following the registration of their mortgage. The certificate ostensibly is retained in the Land Registry on permanent deposit. In fact, it exists only in electronic form that can be created as a hard copy if required. This has stimulated widespread interest in the 14
  15. 15. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 secured lending industry and offers a very considerable reduction in storage costs for major lenders. 6.27 The Land Registry is looking to extend this service to Land Certificates, which will reduce costs to homeowners. E- Lodgement (Electronic Delivery of Applications) 6.28 This facility is being developed for LR Direct customers in which the Land Registry will accept a conveyancer’s certificate in lieu of receipt of a supporting deed or document. In the first phase, to be introduced in February 2002, simple applications such as changes of name or address can be lodged. In the second phase, due to be launched in the Summer of 2002, applications, such as cautions and restrictions will be added. Other non-dispositionary applications, electronic discharges and charges will be launched in the e- conveyancing programme by the end of 2002. Electronic Receipt of Payments 6.29 The Land Registry aims gradually to replace customer payment by cash or cheque with payment by electronic means. The facility to make payment by credit card is already available for certain Land Registry services. Plans are in place to offer credit account holders the option to settle their accounts by BACS. Consideration is being given to providing customers who currently make postal applications with a cheque payment the ability to pay by credit card. 6.30 The Land Registry’s Business Development Group has recently approved a software supplier for a new departmental accounting system. Planning for the project has commenced with the new system being rolled out in phases over the next 18 months with the help of an implementation partner. 6.31 Finance Division will be able radically to change and enhance the process of delivering financial information. Leading-edge software will allow for online input and delivery of information, access to data for monitoring, control and financial modelling purposes. 6.32 The new Agency Accounting System is set to play a key role in ensuring the Agency’s financial control systems are fully supportive of the developing e- business initiatives and can offer staff and external customers the self-serve functionality that is a key feature of the e-business world. LR Direct 6.33 The Land Registry’s electronic services capability was considerably increased when Land Registry Direct, a web browser version of its award winning Direct 15
  16. 16. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 Access Service was launched in June 2000. LR Direct allows electronic delivery of certain applications, online ordering of other services and online viewing of some 18 million computerised land registers and title plans. 6.34 Currently 3,600 customers (with more than 12,000 individual user IDs) use the facility. Even though a large number of online applications are free of charge and the average fee per transaction is only £1.77, the service generates approximately £500,000 of income each month. Additional services which will be made available progressively through LR Direct include instant (real time) priority on all types of applications; viewing of deeds referred to on the register; Land Charges registers and online Land Charges search results. UK Online Website 6.35 The Land Registry’s website was established in 1997 and has received a National Audit Office commendation. The website provides information about the services available, where and how those services can be obtained, information leaflets and application forms. Residential Property Price Reports, Business Plans and Annual Reports are available online. A fees “calculator” is included to assist customers in determining the correct fee for the service required. 6.36 At present, application forms can be completed online but have to be printed out by the customer and posted to the district office. Work is underway to enable customers to complete these interactive forms and return them electronically. The Land Registry website is constantly reviewed to ensure that it meets the required Government standards. 6.37 The Land Registry intends to make this a transactional site by the end of 2001 by making Property Price Reports available with payment by credit or debit card. By 2002, the Land Registry also intends to make the Land Register available to view online. Information Asset Register 6.38 The Registry met the HMSO target for establishing its Information Asset Register on its website and linked to the central Register, Inforoute . Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) 6.39 The Land Registry’s website was one of the first government sites to be WAP enabled. Using their mobile ‘phones, visitors to the site can: · obtain residential property price data down to postcode sector level 16
  17. 17. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 · obtain contact details for each district office · find out which areas each district office deals with · calculate Land Registry fees for most standard applications. Kiosks 6.40 The Land Registry is working with the Court Service to provide information online via touch-screen kiosks in libraries and Citizen’s Advice Bureaux. Life Episodes 6.41 Of the nine Life Episodes available on the Online Citizen Portal in September 2001, the Land Registry will contribute mostly towards that covering “Moving home”. It will also have an input into the “Death and bereavement” Life Episode (registration of death of a proprietor of land) and the “Pensions and retirement” Life Episode (redemption of mortgage and subsequent issue of the land certificate). Discussions are taking place with the E-Envoy’s office about the Land Registry’s involvement in these episodes. National Land Information Service (NLIS) 6.42 One of the problems that conveyancers face is having to go to a number of different organisations to obtain property information. NLIS will provide a single point of entry for that information and any organisation with a property- related dataset will be able to make that available through the common medium of the National Land and Property Gazetteer. NLIS is an excellent example of “joined-up government” 6.43 NLIS launched a pilot service in February 2001 and its full commercial service will be available progressively from Autumn 2001. Electronic Conveyancing 6.44 The electronic conveyancing programme will introduce, over the next five to ten years, a radical overhaul of the conveyancing process in England and Wales. The opportunity which technology provides will be used to re-engineer the process with the overall aims of: · linking conveyancing and registration processes more closely; · reducing the time taken between “handshake” and “completion” · reducing transaction costs to conveyancers and therefore to the citizen; and 17
  18. 18. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 · removing some of the anxiety and uncertainty experienced by citizens engaged in land and property transactions. 6.45 A high level steering group has been set up to ensure that the work on the Land Registration Bill (see paragraph 6.48 below), e-conveyancing and the wider recommendations of the Land Registry’s quinquennial review are moved forward smoothly in the same direction, and to identify and resolve any inter- departmental issues arising. The group is chaired by LCD and includes representatives from HMLR, DTI, DTLR, VOA (representing VOA and Inland Revenue) and the Office of the eEnvoy. 6.46 HM Land Registry is playing a leading role. A dedicated task force has been set up to develop and deliver an e-conveyancing system and to ensure cohesion across all aspects of business activities. 6.47 Key features of the re-engineered system: · Paperless – the main focus will be on removing the paper deeds and documents that pass between solicitors, lenders and HMLR in favour of electronic equivalents. · Simultaneous “completion” and “registration” – This will be achieved by building the new Register at the same time as key documents such as the Contract, Transfer and Charge are drafted. · Direct Access to the Register of Title – The facility for licensed practitioners to effect changes to the Register of Title direct using electronic documents. This will obviate the need for processing by HMLR for a large number of transactions. · Electronic Funds Transfer – The system will facilitate automatic, simultaneous settlements to take place at “completion/registration” between sellers, buyers, lenders, IR and the Registry. The calculation of fees and Stamp Duty will be an integral part of the system. Enabling Legislation 6.48 The Land Registration Bill has been introduced into the House of Lords. It is intended to replace the Land Registration Act 1925 and is largely based on the proposals contained in a joint Law Commission and HMLR report “Land Registration for the Twenty-first Century”, published in July 2001. The Bill paves the way for the Land Registry to receive documents and applications electronically and, if appropriate, to require use of an electronic conveyancing network. 18
  19. 19. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 6.49 The provisions of the Bill relating to the authorisation of electronic conveyancing documents were anticipated by a consultation paper on a draft Order under Section 8 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000 was issued on 16 March 2001 with a closing date for responses of 15 June. The Order would improve the conveyancing process by permitting the creation of electronic conveyancing documents such as Contracts, Transfers, Leases and Mortgages. It will also establish a new legal framework in which electronic conveyancing documents will have the same effect as their paper equivalents. 6.50 Permission to enable Stamp Duty to be collected from the electronic documents would be a matter for future legislation. 7 Paying for e-business 7.7 The Land Registry has been a self-financing government department since its creation in 1862. It achieved trading fund status in 1993. Business development is therefore funded mainly from fees paid by LR customers. Agreement was reached with the Treasury in 2000 for some of the Registry's accumulated reserves to be used to fund the major project concerned with vectorising the Public Index Map (see paragraph 6.19). 7.8 The Land Registry is eligible to apply for Capital Modernisation Funds and Invest to Save Budget Funds. ISB funding was received in the financial years 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 to accelerate progress of NLIS. Further funding will be sought for e-conveyancing and an expression of interest has been submitted to HM Treasury. 7.9 Despite major investment in service delivery, the Land Registry has been able to reduce fees by 40.6% since becoming a trading fund in 1993. 19
  20. 20. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 Annex A THE LAND REGISTRY’S STAKEHOLDERS Our staff and their representatives: The Crown DTUS Public/Private Sector Partners LR management HM Government: Our customers and their agents: Lord Chancellor The general public Parliamentary Secretaries at LCD Independent Complaints Reviewer Members of Parliament Lawyers Security Services Licensed conveyancers Local Authorities Banks Building societies The Judiciary Estate agents Service Suppliers Chartered surveyors Goods suppliers UK and foreign companies Moneylenders Professional Bodies Government departments Other Public Institutions Central Departments: HM Treasury Cabinet Office Lord Chancellor’s Department Home Office Foreign & Commonwealth Office DEFRA 20
  21. 21. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 Annex B ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT: PROGRESS TOWARDS THE PRIME MINISTER’S 2005 TARGETS Commitment Category/Commitment Enabled Now Enabled Enabled 2005 2002 1. Deliver pre-completion land Deliver pre-completion land 4 4 4 registration services to registration services to business customers. business customers. 2. Deliver title plans and any deed Deliver title plans and any 6 4 4 referred to on the register to deed referred to on the register business customers. to business customers. 3. Deliver land information Deliver land information 6 4 4 services to citizens. services to citizens. 4. Deliver post-completion land Deliver post-completion land 6 6 4 registration services to business registration services to customers and citizens. business customers and citizens. 5. Provide online land registration Provide online land 6 4 4 and local authority searches and registration and local authority information via an Internet based searches and information via one-stop shop. an Internet based one-stop shop. Totals Total Number of No of Enabled No of No of Enabled Categories/Commitments = 5 Categories = 1 Enabled Categories = 5 ESD Capability Categories = ESD = 20% 4 Capability = ESD 100% Capability = 80% 21
  22. 22. HM Land Registry – E-Business Strategy 2001 - 2011 Annex C SUMMARY OF EXPECTED COMPLETION TIMES Activity 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 NLIS National launch (July 2000) Award of licence for provision of Hub (July 2000) Award of licences for channel provision Introduction of Service across England October 2001 and Wales IT Skills Review Consultant’s Report to Board 3(June 2000) 3 Implementation of accepted recommendations Real Time Priority For all applications received 3(May 2001) Vectorisation of the Index Map Project completion 3 Electronic Conveyancing Model Build July 2001 Consultation Aug 2002 Full System Design & Build April 2005 Implementation (start roll-out) May 2005 ENDS Electronic notification of discharge of 3 mortgages Electronic discharge of Charges 3 Dematerialisation Electronic delivery of dematerialised Land and Charge certificates 3(Charge) 3(Land) LR Direct Launch 3(June 2000) Customers’ credit accounts to be debited electronically as each transaction is 3 completed Electronic Receipt of Payments Electronic payment by credit card 3 Website Availability of registration of title, title plans and deeds referred to on the 3 register Information Asset Register Website established 3 Link with Inforoute established 3 Wireless Application Protocol Website enabled 3 Wider Market Initiative Consultant’s Report to Board 3 (December Recommendations implemented 2000) Contribution to “Life Episodes” 3 3 Computer Mapping Project 3 3 (complete) Scanning of Title Plans Project 3 Scanning of Filed Deeds Project 3 3 (complete) 22