Reducing Risks in Process Transitions: The South Australian Example

October 10, 2016

At SAI Global Property we actively work to support industry reforms, boost collaboration and improve industry policies and practices so that everyone benefits.

One area of industry reform we've been focused on is the transition from paper to electronic processing in property settlements. This is a large shift that necessitates new ways of working and carries many potential risks.

We have identified five types of risks arising from this industry transition:

  1. Process risk, where dual processing creates process complexity for the legal and banking sectors.
  2. People risk, which arises from the difficulty of changing longstanding processes.
  3. System risk, which is about making systems well integrated and tested
  4. Change management risk, which is associated with embedding new processes, information and behaviours.
  5. Fraud risk, which is the susceptibility of proposed processes and systems to adverse events and fraud.

The recent reforms in South Australia offer a good case study of how we have played a proactive role in assessing risk, promoting the right level of risk controls, and contributing to a better regulatory process for everyone in the long term.

The South Australian Land Titles office worked with the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (AIC), banking clients, the legal industry and SAI Global to align processes and procedures for paper and electronic conveyancing.

The aim was to create a single set of regulatory and business requirements for both electronic and paper transactions, which helps reduce the complexity of dealing with two separate transaction environments.

In preparation for the changes, our South Australian Operations Manager Kate Baxter joined the Electronic Conveyancing Transition Working Group of the South Australia Lands Titles Office, as well its its Advisory Committee. She also attended a series of seminars held by the Australian Institute of Conveyancers SA. 

Kate's engagement was extremely beneficial because it gave SAI Global the opportunity to discuss the new process for electronic settlements; provide feedback on the transitional arrangements from manual settlements; gain crucial information to assist with educating our staff and clients; and review draft documentation and address any issues.  

The Verification of Identity provisions, introduced in 2013, marked the starting point of the critical process changes in South Australia and the start of our close collaboration with the industry. 

By engaging in this way, we were able to help the Land Titles Office to iron out issues in that aspect of the process. And that was just one example of how, through our proactive approach, we were able to offer our operational expertise and suggestions to help the make the transition less painful, less risky and more smooth.
More broadly, as a result of the consultations, the major players in the industry came to an agreed position and process, and we were proud to contribute to that excellent result.

In Victoria the planned conversion of paper to electronic Certificates of Title will face similar challenges. We are already talking with our clients to develop a stakeholder impact assessment, and are looking forward to positively contributing to the reform efforts.

For more information on how SAI Global can help you manage process risk, get in touch with us. 


Gina Assimakis

About Gina Assimakis

Gina joined SAI Global as the NSW/ACT State manager in December 2009. A banking professional by trade, Gina's career has seen her hold retail lending positions as well senior management roles for financial institutions such as St George Bank and NAB. 

As of January 2014, Gina has held the position of General Manager of Property Operations where she oversees the running of a business unit that has circa 460 staff nationally. Gina's is driven by investing in her people and ensuring they have the right tools and training to complete their roles.  Her ethos is to hire the right people for the right roles. In doing so she seeks to optimise operational efficiencies, provide the best client service, and continually improve. With that in mind Gina has a dedicated team of Business excellence staff looking at performance, training, risk and efficiencies.

To contact Gina, email gina.assimakis@saiglobal.com and for more information about Gina, click here.