HONG Kong's Land Registry has awarded Hewlett-Packard the contract to help the Registry transfer almost half a million property records from paper onto computer optical disc. More than 460,000 properties and flats in the New Territories in paper form will be scanned into the computer and converted into graphic files. HP will supply the Registry with a Document Imaging System (DIS) which includes scanning software and hardware, information storage hardware, and the networking system. The Registry would not disclose the value of the contract. The project will commence in the middle of 1996. Kitty Cheng, business manager for the Land Registry, estimated it would take two years to convert the property and mortgage deeds. The Registry's property information is still in the form of graphic images. When the Registry would convert the records into text data form has not been announced. Data in electronic text form is a prerequisite for powerful database functions such as full-text retrieval and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). In August, the Land Registry expanded its computerised title search facility. Professionals and laypeople can access and download the property records from home.