In my last post I talked about how the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) improves transparency within the economy, enabling business and consumers to make informed decisions. It does this by allowing consumers to check whether a security interest, or encumbrance is attached to things like cars, boats or artwork before they buy them. At the same time, the PPSR offers businesses risk protection when buying, selling or renting out goods—and it can also help them to raise finance through the use of business goods and assets as collateral.
Critical to the effectiveness of a system like the PPSR is trust—business and consumers must have a high degree of confidence in the information it contains. The data held on the PPSR must be reliable, accurate and up to date.
For this reason one of my roles as Personal Property Securities Registrar is to ensure the PPSR is and remains a highly effective tool that businesses and individuals can rely on both now and in the future.
So how do I go about fulfilling that role?
Well, at AFSA we use a number of integrated strategies to preserve the integrity of data held on the PPSR. This includes:
robust fit-for-purpose controls to preserve data security
engineering out problems that might cause data to be incorrectly entered onto the PPSR
data analytics that enables early identification of potential issues
close engagement with stakeholders who are able to provide feedback on emerging issues within different sectors
targeted information that supports correct use of the PPSR
judicious use of Registrar powers.
All of these work together to make information held on the PPSR as up-to-date and accurate as possible.
Over the coming months I will touch on some of these in a little more detail, but today I wanted to have a brief discussion about how the exercise of my Registrar powers helps to keep the PPSR an effective tool in the Australian economy.
Under the Personal Property Securities Act (PPS Act), I have certain powers to amend, end, remove and restore data. Through careful use of these powers, the integrity of the record can be preserved; particularly where there is an error, dispute or misuse.
As registrations held on the PPSR touch upon on the rights of two or more parties—and those wanting to deal with those parties, any decisions that I (or a delegate) makes that will change the register, can only take place after all relevant interests have been considered.
Where there is any doubt about the potential impact of a decision on a known or unknown party, caution must be exercised to ensure the decision does not undermine the reliability of the PPSR.
The underlying principle is succinctly expressed in a decision from the US, where a court was asked to correct an erroneous registry filing by a party under the US PPS Act equivalent; the UCC. In its 1980 decision the Court made the following statement, which has been quoted with approval over the years in other US court decisions: