Australian Registrars National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) has determined that a Subscriber Compliance Program (SCP) should be implemented consistently across all operating Jurisdictions. A key objective of the SCP is to ensure the program assists Subscribers in meeting their obligations and responsibilities under the Participation Rules and build trust and confidence with Users of an Electronic Lodgment Network (ELN).
Under section 34 of the Electronic Conveyancing Act 2014 (ECA), a Subscriber is obliged to cooperate fully in a Compliance Examination, whilst Schedule 5 of the WA Participation Rules (WAPR) sets out the Compliance Examination Procedure.
The Registrar has the power to conduct a Compliance Examination in relation to a Subscriber for the purpose of:
- ascertaining whether or not the WAPR’s are being or have been complied with when undertaking transactions within WA Land Registry
- investigating any suspected or alleged case of misconduct with respect to the use of an ELN.
- Investigating any suspected or alleged instances which may impact the integrity of the Land Titles Register.
In WA, the Model Participation Rules Guidance Notes – are published by ARNECC and available on the ARNECC website. The Model Participation Rules Guidance Notes are a useful resource which will assist Subscribers understand what is expected of them in complying with the WAPR.
3. Purpose of the Program
The purpose of the SCP is to:
- ensure that all Subscribers and the Registrar have confidence in the operation of the ELN; and
- assist Subscribers to achieve the highest level of quality in conducting their conveyancing business; and
- ensure the integrity of the Land Titles Register is maintained.
The SCP will monitor that the obligations and practices that support the certifications made by a Subscriber are being met in the following areas:
- Client Authorisation
- Verification of identity
- Verifying the right to deal of a Client or Mortgagor
- Retention of supporting evidence
3.2. Selection Process
Compliance Examinations maybe initiated at random or for specific transactions brought to the attention of the Registrar.
A Notice is sent to the Subscriber either via post or email advising of the:
- scope of Compliance Examination,
- transactions for which certified copies of evidence documents must be provided,
The correspondence will include a template letter of response and a Subscriber Compliance Checklist1 that must be completed and returned with the documentation.
The requested documentation and information are to be forwarded to Landgate at:
- 1 Midland Square, Midland.
Due to COVID -19, it has been agreed that the documentation and information can be provided electronically to Assurance@landgate.wa.gov.au
Once all information has been received a Desktop examination will be conducted, checking the following:
- Client Authorisation
- verification of identity
- right to deal
- supporting evidence
Once the examination has been conducted, a letter will be issued to the Subscriber advising the outcome of the Compliance Examination. If any deficiencies are identified and/or additional information is required the Subscriber will have 10 business days to provide the additional information and/or details of corrective actions to ensure ongoing compliance of the WAPR.
If it is determined that the additional information received and/or the correction actions to be undertaken will reduce future potential instances of non- compliance, a letter will be sent to the Subscriber advising of the outcome of the Compliance Examination and that no further action will be required.
1Link to the checklist inserted.
3.4. Site Visit Procedure
In the event the Registrar has identified the Subscriber has not demonstrated compliance with the WAPR, a site visit to review a sample of files maybe initiated. A notice will be issued advising of the site visit, the reasons for the visit and a proposed day and time.
Once the Subscriber confirms the date and time, information as to the scope and approach of the visit will be provided.
At the conclusion of the Compliance Examination, the Landgate officer will discuss the preliminary findings from the Compliance Examination with the Subscriber.
Following completion of the site visit, information pertaining to the findings of the Compliance Examination will be shared and discussed with the Registrar of Titles.
The outcome, recommendations and/or subsequent actions will then be notified to the Subscriber, usually within 10 business days.
4. Show Cause
If the Registrar suspects/believes that a Suspension or Termination Event as defined under Schedule 7 of the WA Model Participation Rules has occurred, a Show Cause Notice will be issued.
The notice will request the Subscriber show cause within 15 Business Days as to why it should not be suspended or terminated from the ELN.
The Registrar will determine based on the information available whether the Subscriber should be suspended/terminated from the ELN or will be permitted to continue to access the ELN. The Subscriber will be advised in writing of the outcome.
The Registrar may reinstate a suspended Subscriber once the Registrar determines that the information and actions implemented by the Subscriber are acceptable in reducing future potential non-compliance of the WAPR.