The Administrator-General’s Department (AGD) intends to close a minimum of 600 cases over the next year, with specific focus on backlog cases.
Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, made the disclosure in his 2022/2023 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (May 4).
The AGD is charged with protecting the interests of minors, beneficiaries and creditors through the efficient and effective administration and management of assets of those who have died intestate, that is without leaving a will.
Over the last 10 years, the Department closed 5,600 cases, while 3,470 new cases were taken on. This resulted in a net reduction of 2,130 cases. More than 4,000 backlog estates were included in the closures.
Minister Chuck told the House that over the past two years the Department has trained and developed a team of specialist attorneys-at-law who are tasked with administering backlog estates.
During the 2021/2022 period, the AGD transferred assets to beneficiaries and closed 425 estates.
There are currently 5,200 cases in administration, of which 3,000 have no minor beneficiaries. “We project to close these cases within the next three to five years,” the Minister told the House.
He noted that in an effort to improve service delivery, the Department, since 2015, has been issuing its own instruments of administration.
Over the past six years, the AGD has issued 1,550 instruments at a yearly
average of 260, and in an average time of three months.
This has allowed the Department to promptly execute its responsibilities, which include maintenance of minor beneficiaries, where funds are available, Minister Chuck pointed out.
Minister Chuck told the House that the AGD continues to modernise its operations, with 90 per cent of manual files and records digitised through the Department’s Trust and Estate Management Systems (TEMS).
For this year, 99 per cent of the estate files are fully scanned and are now accessible to multiple users, facilitating remote and real-time access.
“Also, 90 per cent of estate accounts are now fully automated, allowing for real-time statement of accounts. This is up from 75 per cent during the previous period,” Mr. Chuck said.