News 26th April 2016

What impact would Land Registry privatisation have on transparency? Help write the OGN’s consultation response

by Tim Hughes

Tim is coordinator of the UK Open Government Network.

UPDATE: The deadline for contributing to drafting/editing the submission has been extended to 20 May.  Get involved here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A-3ckBTAAIWSwgpSTSD3IaPVWniLoeSd_eNJgrXgDc4/edit?usp=sharing 

Introduction

The government launched a consultation just before Easter on plans to privatise the Land Registry.  While the consultation document is at pains to stress that the register itself will remain in public ownership, there is significant concern from members of the Open Government Network about the impact private control could have on transparency and accountability.

No thoroughfare

No thoroughfare, Peter Asquith

Help write the OGN submission!

We’re currently drafting the Open Government Network’s response to the consultation, and we’d like your help!

What impact would privatisation have on the provision of open data?  How would it effect anti-corruption efforts? What would it mean for oversight and accountability? What safeguards (if any) would overcome these issues?

The response will be drafted between now and 13th May.  You can help by commenting, drafting, editing and/or suggesting reading.

You can also help by sharing this call with your networks over social media, email, word of mouth, etc.

Once we’ve finalised the submission on 16 May we’ll be collecting signatories from individuals and organisations who wish to show their support.  Register your interest in signing and we’ll contact you once it’s ready.

Submit your own response

Here are the details of the government consultation from gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/land-registry-moving-operations-to-the-private-sector

Land Registry: moving operations to the private sector

This consultation closes at 

Summary

We’re seeking views on options to move the operations of the Land Registry into the private sector from 2017.

Documents

Consultation description

The Land Registry registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales.

This consultation sets out options to move Land Registry operations into the private sector. The purpose of the consultation is to:

  • set out government’s reasons for proposing change
  • propose how a private sector Land Registry would work
  • share our thinking on possible models for the future of Land Registry
  • seek views on the proposals, especially on our preferred option

A sale of Land Registry could allow government to pay down debt, or enable other investment for the benefit of taxpayers. It is expected that a move into the private sector would also allow Land Registry to become even more efficient. At the same time it could continue with an appropriate level of service to support the property market.

Ways to respond


Image credit: No thoroughfare, Peter Asquith

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