The Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC), recently published a draft of Version 7 of the Model Participation Rules (MPR). Primarily, changes suggested in Version 7 focus on interoperability between Electronic Lodgement Networks (ELNs). Feedback garnered from the consultation phase will then be considered by ARNECC, prior to the anticipated start date for Version 7 of the MPR in December 2021.
The MPR provides the basis for each State and Territory’s Operating and Participation Rules and determines the standards to which Electronic Lodgment Network Operators (ELNOs) and their subscribers must comply when operating within the eConveyancing landscape.
The key change in Version 7 of the MPR is around the added provision for interoperability between ELNs. The substance of the interoperability definition will be found within the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (ECNL).
It is anticipated that the term ‘Interoperability’ will be defined in the ECNL as the interworking of ELNs in such a way that enables:
– Conveyancing practitioners using different ELNs to complete a conveyancing transaction; and
– the preparation of documents using data from different ELNs.
A draft of the amended ECNL is expected to be available to industry by October 2021, following which, all jurisdictions will be required to finalise governmental approvals. It is anticipated that following all necessary approvals, the first interoperable transaction will take place by the first quarter of 2022.
Under the proposed changes to Version 7 of the MPR, conveyancing practitioners would be permitted to be a Subscriber to more than one ELN. There must be a Subscriber Administrator for each ELN a Subscriber is registered with. This Subscriber Administrator may or may not be the same person.
The concept of interoperability between ELNs has been welcomed by key stakeholder groups, including the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (which considers interoperability essential for competition between ELNOs), along with the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Banking Association, both of which also strongly support competition between ELNOs.
Consultation closes on Monday, 6 September 2021 and feedback should be sent by email to email@example.com.