A four-year project to give recorders a better way to evaluate Land Records Management Systems (LRMS) has been approved and published by the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA). The 43-page document outlines a set of guidelines that will help land records offices with the evaluation of new or existing systems and give directions to the third-party vendors serving the industry.
The paper contains a complete overview of considerations land records offices should take into account from preparation and system planning to daily operations and the future state of the LRMS.
Here we’re going to take a brief look at each of the sections in the document, but for the full details, head over to PRIA’s website.
Preparation and System Planning
Infrastructure – A successful LRMS needs to be based on strong hardware, which can be located either on-site or accessed in a virtual environment. Regardless of where the physical hardware lives, separate servers should be established for things like production and training. The server and the OS it runs also need adequate protection from viruses, key loggers, and other types of malware.
Integrations/Interfaces – Standard formatting and system-agnostic API calls allow for low IT resource commitments while easily sending encrypted data to multiple vendors.
Internet Availability – As expected, PRIA calls this an absolute minimum requirement. It’s important, though, to have a plan in place for internet disruptions and vendor/customer notification protocols.
Data and Image Conversions – When moving to a new LRMS, there can be a lot of consolidation into a single database. Recording offices must weigh the value of getting everything in a central standardized place versus the level of effort required to convert, index, and redact rarely used historical documents. Either way, files need to be converted with QA metrics in place, and with consideration for future database changes.
Document Management – Documents and their contents should be easily accessible within the LRMS, which means there should be a workflow in place that addresses document ingestion, indexing, search, retrieval, distribution, storage, and archiving.
Security – IT departments need to work out a security plan with the LRMS that clearly defines roles, responsibilities, and guidelines for avoiding either unintentional or malicious mishaps to occur with the data.
Preservation – Files loaded into an LRMS need to have minimum standards for resolution and contrast while adequately storing backups of the information should anything go wrong. Speaking of which…
Disaster Recovery – Something will go wrong eventually. Many LRMSs offer recommended policies and procedures, but individual jurisdictions need to outline responsibilities and tested procedures related to disaster recovery and business continuity.
Workflow – To be effective, a jurisdiction needs a well thought out workflow that addresses queues for a document from the time it is received until its final destination. The workflow structure needs to be flexible, so that different types of queues can have their own unique set of requirements while still keeping each as efficient as possible. Where possible, steps should be automated and verified rather than relying solely on manual processes.
Data Entry/Capture – Systems should allow for either manual data entry or automated data capture, but should also be able to glean information from other county sources through integrations. This entry should be done with data integrity in mind, using sight or blind verification to confirm the accuracy of certain fields.
Receipting – Jurisdictions need a system that allows for consistent fee processing across both physical and electronic submissions. The system should understand whether or not the proper documentation has been filed, allow for all common methods of payment, and issue endorsements.
Scanners/Scanning – Scanners are important for both historical documents and day-forward submissions. Documents should be thoroughly prepared and subjected to guidelines for pagination, resolution, format, and size. QA measures for page rotation, blank pages, etc. would also be very helpful.
eRecording – Using a similar process to the paper document workflow, eRecorded document workflows should be able to notify the submitter of any errors, standardize data, process supporting documentation, and work easily with the third-party vendors that often supply the files.
Redaction – Redaction is often driven by state, county, and city legislation, although online records access creates an immediate need. Personally identifiable information can be redacted either manually or automatically, with processes in place for tracking, verification, and overwrites.
Searching – The system should allow for searching of fields in a variety of different ways to both recording staff members and the general public.
Accounting – All terminals should be able to communicate with one another, handle a variety of payment types, and provide numerous customizable accounting reports.
Data Output – Having both standard and customizable reports is a best practice, and they should be available in a variety of file formats. Exports should be available as batches, single files, or in bulk, and web access should be taken into consideration when analyzing outputs.
Future of LRMS
The one key word in planning for the future with an LRMS is flexibility. It’s impossible to know how future regulations will affect the way recording offices do business and it can also be difficult to predict where technological advances will make the biggest changes. This is why having an LRMS workflow that can adapt to an office’s changing needs rather than the other way around is key for future-proofing recording.
Extract doesn’t sell LRMSs but we offer a solution that can help you get the most out of your new or existing system. Our automated data and document handling platform takes your incoming files and routes, indexes, and redacts them as appropriate.
Recommended features like duplicate document detection, pagination, document rotation, external database verification, image enhancement tools, and more are included in Extract’s solution, enhanced by continuous machine learning to ensure the highest capture rates.
If you’d like to learn more about how Extract can work with your current or future LRMS, please reach out to us today.
About the Author: Chris Mack
Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing. Chris received his bachelor’s degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.