Dept to expect revamp

National, Normal

The National,Wednesday 13th of February, 2013

LANDS and physical planning department will be overhauled to restore public confidence, secretary Romilly Kila Pat says.
He admitted that the department’s credibility had been damaged but he intended to clean up the mess, saying the reform would cost the state about K288 million over the next three years.
Pat said the department would embark on three priority areas in line with the minister Benny Allan’s visions to transform and to take it to the next level.
“Firstly, we will review all the existing laws that govern and administer the department’s mandate because they are all obsolete as they do not keep pace with the changing environment,” Pat said.
The laws, he said, were Lands Act, Physical Planning Act, Survey Act, Evaluation Act and the  Land Registration Act.
They have hindered development in the country.
He said a first draft would be tabled for parliament’s scrutiny in June this year.
The other reforms that the department will go through are fully automated land titling system to address double land title issues and land accessibility.  
“I assure the people of Papua New Guinea that we have a bigger challenge to ensure officers within the department must discharge their duties diligently.
“I will tolerate no more dubious deal by them and if they are caught red-handed, they will be dealt with severely,” Pat said.
He said he would create a compliance unit within the department to ensure corporate bodies and individuals must pay their due land rentals.
Pat had been acting in the secretary position for sometime and was confirmed recently by the NEC.