As we all tackle the challenges presented by COVID-19 and changing alert levels, we have reviewed our approach to e-dealing Compliance Reviews and Law Firm Audits at the different alert levels.
Our approach at each of the different alert levels is as follows:
- Level 4 and Level 3 – e-dealing compliance reviews and law firm audits on hold
- Level 2 and Level 1 – e-dealing compliance reviews and law firm audits continue as usual
If the country is at different alert levels, we will target our reviews and audits at conveyancing professionals and firms based in areas of the country at level 2 and level 1. We will put any work with those located in areas of the country at alert level 4 and 3 on hold. If an area of the country remains at alert level 3 for a prolonged period of time we may revise our approach for this level.
When using audio visual means for verifying client identity and witnessing A&I forms relevant regulatory standards and guidelines must be followed and, Section 5 of the A&I form should be amended accordingly. For more information please see Authority and Identity Requirements and Electronic Signing of Documents Interim Guideline 2020 – LINZ OP G01247
File notes documenting the extra steps taken to verify client identity are an essential part of your documentation. These should be kept with the relevant A&I forms.
eEvidence connecting your client to the property should be retained where required with the A&I forms for audit purposes. (e.g. Rates invoices, insurance documents, utility accounts etc provided by the client).
How to get it right first time – other hints and tips:
- Sole practitioners – should have a contingency plan in place so that transactions can be completed if you are unexpectedly absent or unable to certify and sign.
- Support network with your peers – discuss best practice and compliance requirements.
- Evidence of checks performed – complete e-dealing checklists (either stand-alone or as part of your conveyancing workflow recording system)
- Certify and signing – make sure you have the requisite knowledge of the transaction and relevant supporting evidence and authorities to give correct certifications.
If you have e-dealing compliance questions please email RGLAssurance@linz.govt.nz.