This article has two broad objectives. First, it reports on progress towards achieving the Australian National Electronic Conveyancing System (NECS). Secondly, the article analyses the significance of the NECS in the general context of e-Government. The NECS project was established by Australian state and territory governments in 2005 and significant progress has been made over the past five years. When the NECS is completed, conveyancers, legal practitioners, financial institutions, mortgage processors and other players involved in conveyancing will be able to access the NECS online with an electronic workspace provided for each property transaction.
The system will allow users to provide, secure, certify and sign documentation. Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs) will ensure authentication and prevent repudiation and various risk mitigation and fraud prevention measures will be taken. Financial settlement will occur through the Reserve Bank’s Information and Transfer System (RITS) and the State and Territory Revenue Offices will receive duty and tax payments electronically. Consumers will be able to track the progress of their transaction via limited Internet access to the NECS. Financial institutions will be able to integrate their services and mortgage documentation systems with the NEC system. Collectively, the NECS is an excellent example of the substantive and procedural challenges involved in making e-government a reality.
Professor of Business Law, School of Business, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland,
This article is based on an earlier paper delivered to the IEEE eScience 2010 6th International Conference on e–Science, Brisbane, Queensland Australia, December 7-10, 2010: <ftp://pubftp.computer.org/press/outgoing/proceedings/eScience Workshops 2010/data/4295a141.pdf>. The present article focuses on lessons learned from the NECS project that could be applicable to other E-government projects.
© 2011 Journal of Law, Information & Science and Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania.