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Land Registry

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 28 June 1990

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To ask the Attorney-General when Her Majesty's Land Registry is to be established as an executive agency.

Further to my answer to my hon. Friend on 5 April 1990 at column 725, I am pleased to confirm that the Lord Chancellor will establish the Land Registry as an executive agency on Monday 2 July 1990. I have arranged for the Land Registry's framework document to be placed in the Library. Performance indicators for the Land Registry are set out in the framework document.The Land Registry has made significant progress in recent times in improving its productivity and its quality of service, both in terms of speed and accuracy. The performance targets set for the registry will require it to continue this improvement. The key productivity target is to reduce unit costs in real terms by 6 per cent. over the three financial years from 1 April 1991. Over the same period, the average length of time to finalise post-completion applications, which in December 1988 stood at 15ยท5 weeks is to be reduced to five weeks. The handling of pre-completion applications, which are more time-sensitive as they are part of the conveyancing process, will also be expedited with the proportion of applications dealt with within four days being increased from 90 per cent. at present to 92 per cent. in 1994. Targets have also been set increasing the already high percentage of error-free handling of applications.An open competition is currently being held for the selection of a person to be appointed as chief land registrar and chief executive of the agency to succeed the current chief land registrar, John Pryer CB, following his forthcoming retirement.