Property register goes online

E-government gave a clear nod to the needs of private business with the launch of the Personal Properties Securities Register.

E-government gave a clear nod to the needs of private business with the launch of the Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR).

The government-initiated PPSR, a month-old nationwide register of properties secured against loans, is already working to the advantage of private credit-rating agencies like Baycorp by enforcing the cleaning up of data on properties held as security for loans.

Creditors are having to validate the name of the other party to each agreement fully, in order to satisfy the PPSR criteria. “So this cleans up the data we use,” says Baycorp’s Richard Peach. Creditors have to enter data into certain fields on the PPSR record, he says. “If they load them incorrectly, then the security of the loan is at risk.”

The PPSR is a valuable aid to lenders and to agencies like Baycorp, Peach says. When a lender examines the record of the prospective debtor, either for themselves or using Baycorp, PPSR will show a complete set of records of other secured loans the would-be debtor has.

But there are still some problems in the scrupulous accuracy demanded, says a representative of one large lender. Anyone searching the register by name has to have the exact name in their files, as recorded on the PPSR. Differences as small as “&” for “and” can mean the desired company does not turn up in the search.

The answer, the lender says, is always to search on the unique Companies Office number for the debtor or creditor company.

The PPSR was formally launched at the beginning of June and more than 400,000 transactions have been put through the system since.

It is accessible either through a website, or more efficiently by direct interface from a major user company’s core business IT systems.

“We started tentatively with a batch of 500 transactions, then wound up to 1000, then we opened four channels on our mainframe and gave them 11,000 in 11 minutes. It worked perfectly,” says the large lender representative.

Last week, however, with the system comprehensively proved in practice, users, implementers and government staff gathered for a celebration. Brendan Boyle, head of the e-government unit, called PPSR an excellent example of success of the e-government initiative.

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