An announcement from New South Wales land and titling agency, Land and Property Information (LPI) has clarified months of speculation about the restructuring of the public government agency. In May it was revealed that the state government will open up the land and titling operations of LPI to purchase by private business under a ‘partial’ privatisation.
Now, the official statement has indicated that LPI will not separate into three discrete units as previously reported, but rather five:
- LPI – Titling and Registry Services
- Office of the Registrar General
- Spatial Services
- Valuation Services
- Office of the Valuer General
All of the five discrete units will be integrated into the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI), with LPI – Titling and Registry Services offered for private operation. The changes will become active within a month’s time – with the official inauguration of the new structure on 1 July 2016. The move has been described by some commentators as a precursor for other public land agencies around the country to follow in a similar stead.
The new statement explains the reasons behind the change:
With advances in technology, many manual processes are now digital and there are channels to ensure continued information sharing between the existing LPI units, without requiring the units to be grouped together as one division.
With this in mind, as part of a scoping study of LPI, the Government has concluded there is opportunity to provide more benefit to the State if the Titling and Registry Services (TRS), Valuation Services and Spatial Services units of LPI are separated and integrated into DFSI.
The separation was carefully designed to avoid any increase in complexity and the new model strengthens commercial performance, innovation and regulatory oversight. As part of this, a new pricing framework has been introduced.
The NSW Government will effectively separate the regulatory and operational functions of LPI’s Titling and Registry Services in under a month’s time.
LPI’s Titling and Registry Services (TRS) maintains a secure and efficient system of land ownership and State-Government-guaranteed land title protection using the Torrens system. The Government has decided to offer a long term concession of 35 years for the management of the titling and registry services business of LPI to private industry.
LPI’s Spatial Services division has the vital role of creating and maintaining the spatial representation of NSW and acting as a ‘single source of truth’ for foundation spatial information and survey infrastructure and services. Spatial Services will remain public but come July will be integrated into Government and Corporate Services.
Valuation Services will move into Property NSW and the Office of the Valuer General will remain a separate unit reporting to Parliament and the Secretary, DFSI.
A newly formed Office of the Registrar General (ORG) will oversee the operations of LPI – Titling and Registry Services (TRS).
As a result of the changes, LPI is reconfiguring its spatial data portal, SIX, into three separate portals: Spatial Services, which will retain the current SIX URL www.six.nsw.gov.au; LPI, supplying Titling and Registry Services within its own portal; and Valuation Services, which will also have a new portal of its own.
For further information, please read the official LPI announcement.