Dept to decentralise functions

National, Normal

The National, Friday 7th June 2013


THE Department of Lands and Physical Planning plans to decentralise some of its main functions to the provinces through the provincial lands boards.

Lands Minister Benny Allan said yesterday this move would shift some of the work from the department to the provinces and enable the provinces to handle land matters through their own governments.

“We want to decentralise functions so that provinces can have their own say and make decisions on their own land.

“Many times decisions are made by the lands board based in Port Moresby who have no idea about the land but issue titles without verification,” he said.

Allan said the ministry had written to all the Governors to establish provincial land boards.

He said although provincial land boards would come under provincial governments, they would still function under the national lands department’s policy guidelines. 

The five provinces which have established their provincial land boards are West New Britain, East New Britain, Milne Bay, Morobe and New Ireland.

Enga, Southern Highlands, Northern and Madang have indicated their willingness to start theirs.

Allan said every Papua New Guinean and investor had the right to apply for a land title using the correct processes and it would be fair to every applicant to be screened.