When the land registration system was implemented and Land Registration Act (“LRA”) proclaimed in 2003, the audit program consisted of random audits focusing on the historical search and initial certification of title upon conversion of each parcel of land to the new system. After a review and analysis of the first few years’ audit results and the realization of a need for a more focused audit, based on risk, in 2007-08, a new LRA Audit regime was developed and implemented by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (“SNSMR”) and the Nova Scotia Barristers Society (“the Society”). A Joint Audit Management Committee (“JAMC”), which includes members from both SNSMR and the Society, was created to administer the new program. A designated staff lawyer in the Society’s Department of Profession Responsibility has responsibility for the Society’s obligations respecting the audit program, and for following up on non-compliance and errors by lawyers.
Unlike the former audit program, where the audits conducted were completely random, the new audit program is risk based for each of the seven land titles processes. The JAMC identifies areas of risk and transactions are selected in those areas based on a number of identified criteria such as rejection rates for filings, or certain very high risk work such as migration based on possession. The new program is done in a timely way because if there is a subsequent transaction on a parcel which contains an error, it is more difficult to correct. Audits are performed on a quarterly basis and the goal is that the process should be audited not more than six months after the relevant filing has occurred.
The specific high risk transaction types audited fall within each of the land registry’s seven processes: Parcel Description Certification Application, Application for Registration, Revision, Recording, Removal, Rectification and Subdivision. Textual Qualifications was added in year two of the program and the number of audits of Recordings was reduced.
Read the 2012-2013 LRA Audit Report (most current)