Lands show 150 complaints, 80pc suspicious deals

National

By HELEN TARAWA
THE fraud and complaints desk at the Department of Lands and Physical Planning has registered more than 150 cases, 80 per cent of which involved titles transferred from the Office of the Registrar of Titles under suspicious circumstances, a Lands report reveals.
According to information from the department, most of the titles were through dealings connecting National Housing Corporation properties mostly in the National Capital District.
The information, which was provided as a report to Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko, revealed that 10 per cent of the cases were from the alienated division of state land acquisition or lease.
The report showed that 5 per cent were from the Integrated Land Group (ILGs) through the registration of dubious ILGs.
Two per cent was from legal division concentrating more on matters before the court and the legality of the process involved.
Another 2 per cent was from the Land acquisition division, an ongoing issue due to lack of funds.
The report stated that 1 per cent involved others, referring to in-house — particularly to termination, re-instatement, suspension and other human resource matters.
The report signed by the officer in-charge of fraud and complaints desk, Peter Kila Pat, revealed that almost 80 per cent of the complaints were addressed and others were still being processed.
“We hope to conclude by the end of the year. As we promote a transparent operative system, we tend to realise a change of attitude within the officers,” the report said.
“However, you cannot trust anyone as yet until proven trustworthy.”
The fraud and complaints unit is mandated through the office of the minister to perform its duties without fear or favour, for justice, honesty and correctives to apply.
The department re-established the fraud and complaints unit last month. It has not been not functional for four years.
The unit is manned by independent staff including a Public Services Commission officer and an independent lawyer.

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