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Townsend says mySRA system is 'good'

12 December 2011

Antony Townsend, chief executive of the SRA, has defended the regulator’s much delayed ‘mySRA’ online renewal system.

MySRA is part of a wider £18m ‘change programme’ being handled by Tata Consultancy Services, a division of the India-based Tata Group (see solicitorsjournal.com, 24 October 2011).

The latest delay means the deadline for solicitors activating their mySRA accounts has been extended from 14 October into 2012.

Speaking at a board meeting of the SRA last week, Townsend said the reason for the delays was “not because the system was found to be sub-standard. The system is good.”

Townsend said feedback from firms piloting mySRA for their PC renewals was very positive.

“Firms using the new system say they can do the work much more quickly and costs are down very significantly,” he said.

He acknowledged that the delays had been “very disruptive” to practitioners but said there were “huge benefits to the profession” from being able to use the new system.

Townsend added that some of the efficiency savings coming from the new IT system were already “coming to fruition”.

According to the latest figures from the regulator, 98,000 account activations had been completed by 21 November 2011.

A spokesman for the SRA said the regulator had visited large and medium-sized firms in London and Birmingham to help them with account activations.

“The number of incoming calls on mySRA has reduced quite significantly from 500 per day earlier in the month to around 300 per day,” he said.

“Issues are now mostly focused on password release (forgotten passwords) and activation emails not being received (often due to the individual not updating their email address during the registration process).”

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