Newfoundland and Labrador
Welcome to the first edition of the PPR News – the newsletter dedicated to informing you about the significant changes planned for the Personal Property Registry (PPR) for the Province of Newfoundland. The new Personal Property Security Act (PPSA) was proclaimed by the House of Assembly on December 15, 1998 and will become effective at the end of the year. This publication is issued to communicate information and events leading to the implementation of this legislation and the new supporting computerized registry system. The first of these events is the orientation seminars in November. Read on for the details.
On September 17, 1999 the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador signed an agreement with Unisys Canada Inc. and Xwave Solutions Inc. to implement a new computerized province-wide Personal Property Registry system. The new system will substantially improve the way security interests in personal property collateral are registered with the province. It will be consistent with the legislative framework of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and other provinces throughout the country.
Ernie McLean, Minister of Government Services and Lands, said "The reform of the Personal Property system is both a technology solution as well as an improvement to the legislation and business processes within the province." The new registry is similar to the system which was implemented in Nova Scotia on November 3, 1997 and delivered through Atlantic Canada On-Line* (ACOL).
Why Change the Personal Property Registry?
The Department of Government Services and Lands is responsible for the Personal Property Registry and supporting legislation for the province. There is one registry office where secured parties who hold a financial interest in certain collateral register documents. Under legislation, this registration provides protection to the secured party. Also, the registry provides information to any prospective client who is considering the purchase of the collateral to be informed of any secured interest in it.
After consultation with the business community, it was understood that this type of system was less than effective. A search against the registry files can only be completed from the one registry office. Access to the information is time consuming, restricted to paper documents, and limited to the registry office during regular government office hours. These limitations resulted in low productivity, inefficient utilization of resources, and reduced service levels to organizations and individuals in the province.
Each personal computer used to access ACOL requires an official copy of the ACOL Desktop software installed. This software is available in Windows 3.1x or Windows 95/98 versions. Each user-ID allows access to the registry from any computer that has the ACOL Desktop software installed. Existing ACOL clients are required to complete an addendum to their agreement extending access privileges to the NB PPR. There is a Software License fee of $200 plus applicable taxes for each copy of the software required. The only other fees are those regulatory fees outlined in the General Regulation that accompany the legislation.
Personal Property Security Act
The Personal Property Security Act (PPSA) identifies the personal property registry as an electronic registry where notices of security interests in certain collateral should be registered to retain priority. Documents such as Bills of Sale and Chattel Mortgages will no longer be registered and filed at the registry office. A representative of the Secured Party must enter the information into the system in a timely and accurate manner. Government staff will not be permitted to enter, search, or amend information on behalf of the clients. In addition to the dramatic effect the legislation will have on the current procedures, it will repeal the following acts:
Several other acts will be amended with this new law. Some of those acts include the Family Law Act and the Judgment Enforcement Act. Please refer to the PPSA for a complete list of acts affected by this legislation.
What is the new Personal Property Registry?
The new Personal Property Registry (PPR) is a centralized computer registry service that extends throughout the Province of Newfoundland. The PPR allows both individuals and organizations to record their financial interest in personal property (cars, boats, appliances, etc.). For example, if you have a car loan with a financial institution, that car is the security for your loan. Until you have repaid the loan, the institution has a financial interest in that car. The PPR is the place to record that interest and make that information available to other interested individuals and organizations. The Newfoundland PPR is a part of an Atlantic Personal Property Registry computer system which Unisys initiated with the introduction of the Nova Scotia PPR. This system will provide the capability to register and search notices of security interests in multiple provinces. Newfoundland's PPR is the fourth province to be formally added to the system.
What is needed to connect to the PPR?
Remote connection to the PPR service can be made available on-line from your home or business. New ACOL clients are required to complete an application with ACOL. Once received and authorized, you or your company will be assigned a client account with user-IDs for those employees who you have identified within your company as requiring access. Each personal computer used to access ACOL requires an official copy of the ACOL Desktop Software installed. This software is available in Windows 3.1x or Windows 95/98 versions. Each user-ID allows access to the registry from any computer that has the ACOL Desktop software installed. Existing ACOL clients are required to complete an addendum to their agreement extending access privileges to the Newfoundland PPR. There is a Software License fee of approximately $200 for each copy of the software required. The only other fees are those regulatory fees outlined in the draft Newfoundland Regulations that accompanies the legislation.
What is ACOL?
ACOL is an on-line information service that provides access to government information throughout Atlantic Canada. This service is offered by Unisys Canada Inc. through a public/private partnership with the governments of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. It is based on a multi-year contract, which was signed by the four premiers on May 10, 1996. The first information service of ACOL was the Nova Scotia Personal Property Registry. ACOL has progressively provided for a single point of access for registrations and searches to the four Atlantic Personal Property Registries. Planning for additional services beyond PPR is in progress.
Benefits of the new PPR
The new centralized PPR service improves access to personal property information resulting in the following benefits:
The project team will be holding half-day orientation seminars. These will provide a brief overview of the new legislation, ACOL, the PPR, and an on-line demonstration of the system. The intended audience includes management, lawyers, administrators and practitioners who are involved with the existing personal property registry. The orientation sessions will be offered in the following communities:
Live Date Announcement
As you can appreciate, this is a complex project, which requires a great deal of planning and consultation with our stakeholders. We expect to announce a live date in late November. However, for your planning purposes, we are targeting December. We will be in touch regularly over the next couple months, and will be using this newsletter along with presentations, training sessions and the ACOL web site to keep you updated. In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns, or are simply interested in what we're doing, please feel free to contact us. The starting point for queries should be with the Provincial Project Manager, Susan Churchill, who can be reached as follows: