JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, says that the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), for which he has portfolio responsibility, continues to make strides, with 2,300 titles issued over the last two years.
The figure, he said, is double the number of titles that were issued up to 2008, and comes in spite of the challenges the programme continues to face, including affordability on the part of beneficiaries.
The Prime Minister, who was reporting on the progress of land titling and registration under the programme in the House of Representatives yesterday (Oct. 5), noted for example, that although the cost for titling a piece of land under two acres is $34,000, many potential beneficiaries cannot afford this amount.
“That’s a challenge.we have tried to arrange with some of the lending agencies – the PC (People’s Cooperative) Banks, the credit unions, to design some loan programmes specifically for this,” he told the House.
He further pointed to delays in the courts, noting that it takes close to a year to resolve matters dealing with the probate of letters of administration, or boundary or ownership disputes.
Mr. Golding informed that as part of the solution in addressing the court delays, the National Land Agency (NLA) recommended the establishment of a land court for each county, and he expressed a willingness to consider the appointment of a full time paralegal and deputy registrar in the Supreme Court to deal with LAMP matters.
He noted however that he would have to seek guidance from the Chief Justice on the proposals.
“The problem is that there is a resistance to creating new courts when you’re faced already with significant constraints within the court system, because what you’re talking about is shifting court personnel where they are already short-staffed and under pressure.it’s something that I would ask the Minister of Justice to have discussions with the Chief Justice on,” he said.
In the meantime, he said the Government would be seeking a grant from the Korea International Development Agency, which would enable implementation of LAMP across the entire island. “If we can get some additional resources, then we would be able to expand the staff and extend the designated areas to cover the remaining parishes,” Mr. Golding said.
LAMP was piloted in 2000 to regularise and clarify 30,000 parcels of land in designated areas of St. Catherine, and was later extended to St. Elizabeth, Manchester, and Clarendon.
As outlined in a Ministry Paper on the programme, which was tabled on Tuesday in the House, the Government entered into an agreement with Geoland Title Limited and Korea Cadastral Surveying Corporation to accelerate the programme, culminating in the implementation of the second phase of LAMP in July 2010.
It is expected that under LAMP II, 15,000 parcels of land will be surveyed and 12,500 new titles issued over two years.
Meanwhile, there have been significant improvements in the turnaround time for transactions. The processing time for memoranda matters (transfers, mortgages, etc.) has moved to 98 per cent, with endorsements now being completed within seven days.
As of August, an average of 86 per cent of new certificates of title with plan were competed within 30 days, and for those without plan, on average, 92 per cent were completed within 20 days.

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