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Land Registry achieves savings and retains focus on customer service despite challenging year.

Land Registry achieves savings and retains focus on customer service despite challenging year.

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 27 July 2010

Land Registry, the government department responsible for land registration in England and Wales, today (27 July) published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2009/10.

Introducing the report, Marco Pierleoni, Chief Land Registrar and Chief Executive said:

"Serving customers quickly, efficiently and courteously has always been Land Registry's priority. This year has been no exception with over 95 per cent of customers rating our services as good, very good or excellent, over 98 per cent of all registrations processed free of any error and over 89 per cent of all registrations processed within 15 days.

"In a changing world, and with Land Registry itself changing fast, the creation of a new, diverse and flexible approach to serving customers has become a necessity. We have achieved good results in a challenging market but we can still do more to better understand and serve the needs of our customers. This year we have needed to achieve greater efficiency and we are in the process of implementing the changes announced under our Accelerated Transformation Programme, which will lead to reductions in staff numbers and offices, with savings of nearly £500 million over the next ten years.

"I recognise that the last couple of years have been exceptionally tough for our staff but we're doing our best to support them through this difficult period."

Marco praised the way in which Land Registry staff place customers first, at the heart of the work they do. He also paid tribute to the way in which staff have adapted to using the many new technological advancements that are helping to transform and streamline Land Registry's services and modernise the business.

Highlights of the year include:

* Savings: Land Registry has achieved a significant saving of £65million in its cost of service and administrative expenses in 2009/10.

* Sharing space: in the first agreement of its kind across central government, Land Registry signed a five-year deal with Ordnance Survey (OS) to lease space at its data centre in Gloucester.

* Customer focus: customer teams have been introduced to liaise with regional business customers, regardless of their geographical location, helping to centralise and maintain consistent customer contact.

* Customer strategy: a customer strategy has been developed to describe the type of customer experience our customers wish to have with us, and that can be delivered at a cost that both Land Registry and our customers can afford.

* Management training: Land Registry received a National Training Award and achieved a saving of over £291,700 by not going out to external consultancy.

* Comprehensive Land Register: the proportion of registered freehold land topped the 70 per cent mark, compared with 45 per cent in 2004.

* Property fraud: increased investment in our anti-fraud activities stopped attempted fraud against properties valued at an estimated £20million and a Protect your Property campaign was launched in January 2010.

* E-conveyancing: continued to move services online and launched a consultation into introducing the rules for electronic transfers, the third main element of electronic conveyancing after electronic discharges and charges.

* Migration to portal: our secure website platform for accessing Land Registry's electronic services attracted substantial numbers of customers.

* Business Gateway: was developed to streamline processes by enabling customers to send and receive data electronically, directly from their case-management systems.

* Flood Risk Indicator: was made available to home-owners and buyers via the Find a Property web pages.

* Investors in People: despite a tough year with pressures on training budgets this accreditation was retained due to the high standards of staff training provided in regional offices.

* Accelerated Transformation Programme: final decisions were announced in March 2010 which included the closure of the Portsmouth, Stevenage and Tunbridge Wells offices in 2011 (though with a reduced presence remaining in Portsmouth until March 2013), reduced staff numbers and the outsourcing of certain functions.

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Land Registry's Annual Report and Accounts 2009/10, priced £19.75 is available from TSO shops and www.tsoshop.co.uk. Media copies are available from the Press Office on 020 7166 4215. The press notice and report are also available in Welsh. Please contact the Press Office for a copy or visit www.cofrestrfatir.gov.uk

2. The report can be viewed at www1.landregistry.gov.uk/ar10/ar_0910_01.html

3. With the largest transactional database of its kind detailing over 22 million titles, Land Registry underpins the economy by safeguarding ownership of many billions of pounds worth of property.

4. As a government department established in 1862, executive agency and trading fund responsible to the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Land Registry keeps and maintains the Land Register for England and Wales. The Land Register has been an open document since 1990.

5. For further information about Land Registry visit www.landregistry.gov.uk

Contacts

Marion Shelley 020 7166 4543
Marion.Shelley@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk

Jill Inglis 020 7166 4487
Jill.inglis@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk

Press Office 020 7166 4215

Contacts:

Land Registry Press Office
Phone: 020 7166 4215
nds.landregistry@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Jill Inglis
Phone: 020 7166 4487
Jill.inglis@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk

Marion Shelley
Phone: 020 7166 4543
Mobile: 07790 690297
marion.shelley@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk

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