Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Property Registration

Photo of Neale RichmondNeale Richmond (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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244. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to issues regarding the Property Registration Authority, PRA, and delays in receiving information; if he has taken steps to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17143/22]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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The Property Registration Authority (PRA) continued to maintain a high level of service to support a robust property market throughout the period of Covid-19 restrictions. In 2021, overall completions of applications had recovered to 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. Notwithstanding this level of activity, there has been an increase in the length of some completion times and an increase in arrears, due, in the main, to Covid-19 restrictions.

In terms of business continuity planning, and in anticipation of accumulating arrears, in 2021, a request for a planned increase in the pay-bill subhead of the PRA’s Vote was granted in the Revised Estimates for 2022. As part of its strategic workforce planning, the PRA has been engaging on a continuing basis with the Public Appointments Service to prioritise its requests for the recruitment of staff.

A new Arrears Clearance Programme has already been set in train by the PRA Management Board, and cross organisational multi-disciplinary teams have been established to focus on the elimination of arrears. This programme, underpinned by project management discipline, envisages a structured approach to implementation, with an emphasis on data analysis, innovation and business process improvement. The PRA intends to communicate this intent, and ongoing progress achieved, to both its internal and external stakeholders. One aim of the programme is to achieve the guaranteed casework turnaround times that existed pre-Covid in the PRA’s Customer Charter.

Finally, the PRA is always willing to act on requests from lodging parties to expedite an application pending in the Land Registry, and every effort is made to expedite cases where valid grounds for urgency exist, such as a pending sale or financial hardship.


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