Relatives to be banned from Lands HQ

National

THE Lands and Physical Planning Department, in a bid to change its image and improve its services, will ban relatives of staff, including children, from visiting the Eda Tano Haus.
Minister for Lands and Physical Planning Justin Tkatchenko has instructed Secretary Tiri Wanga to impose tight security at the department’s headquarters in Waigani.
“This Lands Department is like a village – anyone is walking in and out of the place, left, right and centre, and it’s a disgrace,” he said.
“Gone are the days when this department was treated like a chicken yard where everybody’s just going in and out.”
Tkatchenko said a total ban would be imposed on people entering the building and entry would only be on appointment for checking land titles or customary land issues.
He said security would be beefed up to ensure archives, titles and all other information was kept safe.
“A lot of staff are dealing with very serious and contentious matters and their lives are being threatened, so this is to protect them from being physically harassed or verbally abused, and to protect the integrity of this department,” Tkatchenko said.
“We have to respect this department – this is where people are going in and out stealing files, getting false information.
“I don’t want the Department of Lands to be called corrupt any more. I don’t want to be the minister of a corrupt department.”

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