JIS News
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, speaks in the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 5.
Photo: Donald De La Haye

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, says the Government’s Land Titling Programme has been re-engineered to deliver 20,000 titles in two calendar years.

Making his contribution to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 5, Mr. Warmington said it is expected that 10,000 titles will be delivered this year.

He informed that this has been facilitated by the enactment of the amendments to The Registration of Titles Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification (Special Provisions) Act in 2020/2021, which enabled the processing of matters under systematic land registration via an adjudication process.

Mr. Warmington said the systematic titling process is targeting privately held lands at a community or scheme level and will operate alongside the existing voluntary system of registration of lands, where persons visit the National Land Agency (NLA) office and request the service to issue a title for their lands.

He informed that during the 2020/21 financial year, 22 areas or districts were declared as systematic adjudication areas (SAAs), mainly in the parish of St. Elizabeth, which has the lowest level of registration of property.

Mr. Warmington pointed out that St. Elizabeth, based on 2016 figures, had a land registration rate of 41.47 per cent.

“When compared to parishes such as St. James at 81.54 per cent and St. Andrew at 86 per cent, one will clearly see that we have a challenge in that parish. The parish is fourth in line behind St. Catherine, St. Andrew and Clarendon in terms of parcels of land,” he said.

The Minister noted that the Government is working through a public-private partnership agreement with Geoland Title Limited to undertake cadastral surveying and titling services. He added that through this partnership and the information generated, a list of 22 areas were determined for action using systematic adjudication.

The SAAs in St. Elizabeth include parts of Lacovia called Bartons Wharf, Cuffies Pen, Dixon Land and Rice Piece. They also include parts of Berlin, Brighton, Haughton, Potsdam, Exton, parts of Friendship called Doctor Rock; parts of Burnt Ground called Lower Burnt Ground and Grass Piece; parts of Burnt Savannah called 500 Lane, and Ghetto Lane.

Mr. Warmington said fieldwork has started in the parish and teams from the NLA have begun adjudicating rights and interests in the 10 SAAs.

He pointed out that the adjudication record for the Flagman SAA is now complete and will be displayed in the first quarter of this fiscal year, adding that existing NLA staff have been redeployed from other divisions to increase the adjudication team from 11 to 20 dedicated members of staff as at April 2021.

Meanwhile, he said the National Land Agency will introduce an electronic system known as the Systematic Adjudication System (SAS) to manage the Systematic Land Registration (SLR) process in the 2021/22 fiscal year.

He informed that the SAS was custom-built to meet specifications set out by the agency’s Adjudication Services Division.

“Having an appreciation for the sheer volume of information to be processed in producing 20,000 Certificates of Title, it was determined that the land adjudication process must be digitised to the greatest degree possible,” the Minister noted.

Mr. Warmington said this would serve to improve efficiency, while simultaneously supporting greater security and reducing the natural margin of error created by manual processing of the applications.

“There will also be a mobile application… to come online before July 2021, which functions without an Internet connection and will, therefore, facilitate collection of data in the field,” he pointed out.

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