How it’s done: DMR automates Quebec’s Land Registry

TORONTO — What does six terabytes of information look like? Imagine 180 million pieces of paper stacked one on top of the other, until it reaches the height of 120 CN Towers.

That was the ambitious task undertaken by the province of Quebec’s Department of Natural Resources when

it decided to automate its land registry files and make them available on the Internet to notaries, surveyors and the general public.

Five years and $90 million later, the province’s system integrator for the project, DMR Consulting, walked away with the best project honors at this year’s ProjectWorld show late last week. The award, sponsored by the Canadian chapter of the Project Management Institute and Computing Canada, recognizes the project which best exemplifies excellence in project management processes and practices.

“It’s really something when you finish a project on time and within budget,” said Réal Rochette, director of DMR Consulting, a Quebec-based division of Fujitsu Consulting in Sainte-Foy, Que.

Andrew Pouliot, DMR’s senior vice-president said he attributed a large portion of the project’s success to strict adherence to project management methodology.

“We were rigorous in our application of project management processes,” explained Pouliot. “DMR’s worldwide methodology, called Macroscope, is a framework and repository of best practices for initiating, implementing and managing a project. When you’re a group of 200 people, following methodology is a must.”

Rochette, meanwhile, pointed to the cohesive working relationship formed by all stakeholders of the project, including the user and the other vendors that provided various pieces of the puzzle. Bell Canada, for example, implemented the technology while Iron Mountain, a records management company out of Boston, was responsible for indexing, scanning and storing the documents. Montreal-based Notarius implemented and operated the Entrust certification portion of the system.

The Land Registry Information System provides access to all deeds registered within the province since 1974 by integrating Internet and client/server technologies. Hewlett-Packard’s Data Centre server acts as the primary server, while an Oracle database is used to store the images. Regular clients of the system are authenticated via Entrust PKI technology. Members of the general public, meanwhile, can access images and pay for them online with their credit cards.

The Internet-enabled land registry repository went live last October and each week the documents from one of the province’s 73 offices are added. Rochette said he expected the province will have all material online by November 2003.

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