By Diane Ako
HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is convening a Bureau of Conveyances (Bureau) working group to assist in developing a plan for moving the Bureau from a paper process to an on-line system for recording real estate and other legal documents in the state.
The working group is part of DLNR's focused efforts to reduce the backlog of real estate recordings and to correct inefficiencies that have existed in the Bureau dating back to the 1990s.
Automating the Bureau's processes is intended to ensure a secure on-line system for the filing of recorded documents. The use of advanced technology will ensure that mandatory data is included in the original filing, payment is processed, and appropriate data is automatically downloaded into a searchable public database once a document is accepted for recordation.
The working group is meeting on a tight time schedule in order to develop a scope of work for a contract to achieve this objective. "We believe that a well-planned transition to modernize the Bureau of Conveyances system will expedite the recording of real estate transactions and other legal documents, reduce the backlog and provide the level of timely, accurate service the public deserves," said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson. "A new on-line system will also increase the efficiency of the recording process and provide our staff with greatly enhanced resources to do their jobs."
Automating the Bureau's processing of paperwork will: Enable statewide to same-day filing of recorded documents; Ensure mandatory information is included in original filings and eliminate multiple entries of data, thereby increasing speed and reducing errors; Permit the training and transition of Bureau staff to concentrate on the substantive work of recording, to expedite final recordation of documents; and Provide a secure and timely database of recorded documents for the state, the industry and the general public.
The working group, which is chaired by Thielen, consists of representatives of banks, title and escrow companies, law professionals, realtors, the State Judiciary, and Hawai'i Government Employees Association (HGEA). The presidents of these professional associations were asked to designate a representative from their industry to work with DLNR in this process.
Employees within the Bureau of Conveyances are also being asked to provide recommendations for the automation of the processing system. The working group will be able to review recommendations and respond to questions from Bureau employees, and the employees will have the opportunity to review the working group's progress as they draft the scope of work for the development of the new system.