Registers of Scotland page: launch of ScotLIS; new regulations to facilitate digital services

Registers of Scotland (RoS) has achieved a number of significant milestones in 2017.

In June we celebrated the 400-year anniversary of the Sasine Register, officially opened our new Glasgow office at St Vincent Plaza, and launched our digital discharge service. Most recently, on 24 October we launched ScotLIS, an online land information service that has already received great customer feedback, and proposed new land registration regulations were laid before the Scottish Parliament on 26 October.

We also hosted the Registration of Title Conference (ROTC) in October, which was an honour for RoS, not only because of its place in our 400th anniversary celebrations, but because this was the first time the conference had been held in Scotland. We were also proud to showcase the innovative work that is taking place in Scotland to so many of our registration colleagues from across the globe. 

New chapter

ScotLIS was just one of the exciting developments we were able to share with our international partners, and is one that we have been excited about for some time. Speaking about ScotLIS in 2015, the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, said that the property market in Scotland – a vital part of our economy – needed to be supported by “easy, risk-free processes that support our ambition to be an attractive place to do business”.

He added that the development of ScotLIS was an important step for our digital first strategy, as well as playing a key role in land reform. 

ScotLIS was developed with extensive customer interaction at all stages, and this approach allowed us to deliver on time, within budget and to meet our customer needs.

It felt fitting that, as we mark 400 years as guardians of the world’s oldest national land register, we embark on this new chapter and continue our proud tradition of leading innovation in recording land and property ownership and making it publicly available. At the time of its inception, the Sasine Register was a bold and ambitious move to protect the citizen and ensure their rights to their land. ScotLIS demonstrates that we are being no less bold now. 

Citizens’ service

ScotLIS is a key component of Registers of Scotland’s digital transformation. It is an easy to use, map based online land and information service. Citizens, communities, professionals and businesses will be able to access comprehensive information about any piece of land or property in Scotland more easily than ever before. 

At launch ScotLIS allows access to RoS’s own data in a user friendly way. It is our intention that ScotLIS will eventually combine with other public sector datasets to offer both a useful and a unique view of Scotland. 

Scottish Government wants ScotLIS to become the platform of choice for land and property information in Scotland. It represents an enormous achievement, which we will continue to develop in the coming years, and reflects our endeavour to be as innovative as possible in the way that we deliver our services. 

ScotLIS is a real step forward in making land registration information more directly accessible to citizens, and we look forward to seeing how citizens use this new service. Over the next 12 months we want to learn how people are using the data, as well as what they would like our service to provide in the future.

This service has the potential to change the relationship the people of Scotland have with RoS, empowering people through access to Scotland’s Land Register.

New rules pave digital road

Two sets of draft Scottish statutory instruments were laid before the Parliament by Scottish ministers last month: the Registers of Scotland (Digital Registration, etc) Regulations 2017 and the Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012 (Amendment) Order 2017.

The draft regulations are designed to facilitate new digital services – another important step in RoS’s digital transformation journey. Subject to parliamentary approval, the new regulations will come into force on 1 January 2018.

The regulations give effect to the proposals set out in the consultation Digital Transformation: Next Steps, which set out detailed proposals for changes to the Land Register Rules to facilitate the introduction of new digital registration services – including a fully digital transfer of title service.

Reaction to our proposals was very positive. Our customers and stakeholders expressed strong support for the new digital services that we are developing, and our proposals to simplify and streamline the existing paper application form. By 2020 the vast majority of deeds will be submitted and processed digitally, providing our customers and the wider Scottish economy with an efficient and customer focused registration system.

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