JIS News

Land and Environment Minister, Dean Peart, has said that Parliament’s recent ratification of the Land Surveyors Act, was another step in achieving the objective of the National Land Policy, which is the establishment of a framework for an efficient land management system.
“The amendments will facilitate the land registration component of the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) and will accommodate the utilization of modern surveying techniques,” he stated during his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on June 21.
One of the activities under LAMP is the production of a section of the cadastral map of Jamaica. The Minister said that this undertaking was vital for the improvement of land administration as it was used to define property boundaries and ownership.
“In order to do this efficiently, we must incorporate the use of modern surveying technology such as global positioning systems and electronic distance metres. This is primary objective of this amendment,” said Minister Peart.
For this year approximately 25,500 parcels have been mapped under LAMP, while another 7,500 parcels were in progress for completion by March 2006.
Also under LAMP, the National Land Agency (NLA) has made significant gains in the computerization of title documents and automation of the Office of Titles. A total of 425,272 titles and 6,888 deposited plans have been scanned and indexed.
He noted that, “the computerization of these records has enabled the NLA to provide improved security and easier access to the records, thus significantly improving the efficiency of the checking of survey plans and customer service as it relates to titles operation,” Minister Peart said.
On another matter, the Minister informed the House that the development of a manual to guide the land acquisition process continued to be a major focus of the Ministry.
He said that the official documents, which will form the basis of the manual, including the recent Joint Venture Policy, have been prepared and approved by Cabinet. The terms of reference to hire a short-term consultant to complete the manual, he said, has also been prepared and the manual should be ready by November of 2005.
There are also plans to establish a divestment committee with membership from the private sector. “I firmly believe that no administration should be able to arbitrarily set up a divestment committee, instead this committee should be properly structured with the various technical persons from the relevant government and other private sector agencies equipped with expertise to make the necessary impact,” Mr. Peart said.