NRI’s Land Discussion Paper Reports launched

NRI’s  Land Discussion  Paper Reports launched

Acting Secretary of the Department of Lands and Physical Planning, Mr Oswald Tolopa,  has welcomed a report on the    review  of the Implementation of the     National  Land Development Programme (NLDP)  in Papua New Guinea, by the National Research Institute (NRI).

The report  highlighted  achievements and challenges faced during the first stage of the implementation process    of the  NLDP, of which the findings revealed 54  recommendations for action.

Extensive  public consultations took place over a  period of time of which 54 recommendations were documented, among which  included, that the National Lands Commission (which operates under the National Land Registration Act ) be abolished as it duplicates function of the Land Court; and that the land administration be centralized in the Department of  Lands and Physical  Planning Headquarters, and service provision be located in provinces and electronically connected to headquarters, to ease backlogs of paper work.

The report highlighted the need to move to electronic records management system  that is  currently available within the Magisterial Services in Port Moresby, in order for the Land Court  to shift to “a system that is effective while operating within  the existing budget parameters”.

“The core problem is that the system is not designed to be able to function within the confines of the available budget resources,” according to the Report.

The report  suggests  that only data entry and maintenance of active case files would be covered by the districts and provinces .

According to the Report, “Records Management will improve if the system is redesigned in a way that will make it possible to be implemented within the confines of the budget and the system centralized. Electronic system should be embraced, which could assist the land Court in centralizing records and registries.

“There would be no need to maintain any manual records in the districts or provinces other than information in the case files required by the magistrates. In addition, under a centralized system, effective monitoring and evaluation system could be set up at low cost.”

Mr Tolopa emphasized   three  main recommendations of 2005 that include, land administration, customary land. land dispute resolution, and voluntary land registration and Incorporated Land Group (ILG)  , that he believe, would require more awareness and consultations , for the benefit of the people.

The other Discussion Paper,  Understanding the records Management System of Land Court in Papua New Guinea, has revealed the bad state of facilities to archive  and  store  decisions  and records   by the Land Court  over the years.

The  primary aim of the report is to examine  why the records management system of the Land Court  has failed , and to chart a way forward  to  improving  the current system.

The Deputy Chief Magistrate, Mr Mark  Selefkariu , when launching the report , said , “We look forward to partnering  with the  National Research Institute, to effectively address magnitude of land issues  and the need to protect land integrity overtime.”

Mr Selefkariu   believes a well- functioning Land Court is necessary for overseeing the resolution of customary land disputes.  

It was found that the main weakness of the records management system at the land Court is strongly linked to the decentralization of records management to the provincial and district levels.