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E-conveyancing – things we love to hate – part #2

It's Friday, so it's time to have more fun with the wonderful world of e-conveyancing…

Given that Gordon Brown is currently planning to put the fiscal boot in on gas-guzzling cars (he clearly hasn't heard of farmers) we've had a few interesting reports about the energy efficiency of HMRC when it comes to their quarterly liaison meetings with IT suppliers to discuss the latest developments with SDLT.

• For example, why does one HMRC executive fly down from Scotland for the meetings, when usually all she says is 'nothing to report'? There are also four guys who have to travel down from Shipley to attend the meetings. Apparently this is called 'devolved government'.

• And then there is the matter of lighting. Apparently these meetings take place in a Whitehall building that is lit with chandeliers – each chandelier a mass of electric lightbulbs. When one of the techies commented that this seemed a waste on electricity and hadn't HM Government heard of energy conserving lightbulbs, it was pointed out to him that they were in a listed building and so were not permitted to use a less inefficient form of lighting. Well, why should they, they are not paying the bill anyway.

All of which makes an interesting contrast with the fact that just about the only part of the HIPs now to make any sense is the Energy Performance Certification (EPC) element.

However over the past few weeks we've heard a number of complaints that the EPC inspection process is frequently a joke. According to one reader, who also happens to be in the e-conveyancing software business, when the inspector called, he showed zero interest in the building's new loft and cavity insulation and “seemed to base his evaluation entirely on the number of stand-by lights he could see illuminated on electrical appliances”. Hmm, wasn't he supposed to be inspecting the energy performance of the building rather than the power using habits of the individuals inside it?

• Next time we'll be looking at the software antics of the HMLR and HMRC and how they caused our American cousins' jaws to drop.