JIS News

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Land, Donovan Stanberry, has pointed out that the government’s Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), represented a key strategy through which the land titling process was being improved. He explained that under the Special Provisions Act that was passed in the Houses of Parliament, “the Land Minister has the power to declare any area in Jamaica a LAMP area and once that declaration is done, a number of benefits begin to accrue”.
The Permanent Secretary was speaking today (May 4), at a post Budget Debate press briefing, hosted by Agriculture and Land Minister, Roger Clarke, at the Ministry’s Old Hope Road head offices.
The declaration, Mr. Stanberry added, grants significant relief in terms of fees, stamp duties, and transfer fees that persons would typically have to pay. Through LAMP, data is gathered using cadastral mapping as a basis for generating land titles. The Permanent Secretary said this mode of mapping was far more inexpensive, as opposed to the diagrams used by surveyors.
In his Budget Debate presentation at Gordon House, yesterday (May 3), Minister Clarke noted that the LAMP project was set up with the objective of mapping some 30,000 parcels of land in St. Catherine, with a view to clarifying those parcels for which titles exist, and bring under the registration of Titles Act, the unregistered parcels.
After three years, Minister Clarke reported that 29,804 parcels have been mapped to date, although not every one of the parcels was in a state of readiness for titling. Corrective works are being undertaken under the Inter-American Development Bank to rectify the matter and is anticipated for completion by September, the Minister informed.
“So far we have some 6,989 legal files open with a view to have 5,130 parcels processed for first registration and 1,751 titles updated,” Minister Clarke noted, adding “this is in addition to the 487 titles that we have produced to date”. For the 2006/07 period, he said the intention of the LAMP project was to secure 4,000 titles, 3,000 of which would be new titles.
Mr. Stanberry said that in its drive to accelerate the pace at which land titles are issued through the National Land Agency (NLA), the Ministry would also conduct a diagnostic review of the land titling process.
He told journalists that the review was being carried out as a means of identifying any problematic issues that needed to be ironed out, in order to hasten the process under which new parcels of land are registered. “We are going to have a diagnostic look in an objective and dispassionate way and whatever comes out of it, the problems that are identified, we will deal with it,” the Permanent Secretary said.
As for the likely causes which might result in a delay in titles being issued, he noted that, “there are many reasons why people are not coming forward, not the least of which is the cost involved, and sometimes too, [the manner in which] elements of the legal profession deal with the matter”.