Improving services at Lands department
The Ministry of Natural Resources is undergoing the monumental task of improving the services provided to the public by the lands department. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry, Sharon Ramclam, a proposal was put forward to Cabinet to tackle problems that are facing the lands administration. She stated that it is clear that there is dissatisfaction with the way services are provided at the lands department with people expressing frustration at the quality of service provided.
Those complaints led to the rooting of the problems which are being faced in several areas of the department and further narrowing down issues to the National Estate Section and the Registry Section within the department. Ramclam says that over the past week the ministry has been holding meetings with stakeholders like the Chamber of Commerce, the surveyors association, valuators, land researchers who work with law firms or freelance to get their input on ways to improve the service at lands.
The CEO stated that there are long term issues that will require legislative changes but for now they are looking at the need to address areas of customer service, public relations, security of files, land tenure and complaints of wrong doings and misconduct by land officers. She added that the entire effort is geared at improving accountability in all areas of the lands department. Currently there are no clear separation of duties among land officers. She noted that there are land officers who do many things and are involved in many processes where in some instances lands officers do all the work and take files all the way to the commissioner of lands without having any clear reporting and accountability and no separation of responsibility. To address this, clear duties will now be specified for officers.
There will also be measures put in place to better account for land applications where an automated tracking system will be implemented to track all types of applications filed at the department. There will also be a tracking system for visitors through a ticket system to track complaints, who addressed them and their outcome. There will also be a system put in place and personnel hired under contracts to track backlogs of land processes in the system.
Other areas of weakness which will be improved are management and supervision where persons are not held accountable to do their work. It has been identified that some staff may be technically capable to perform duties but lack management and supervision skills. To improve on this, training will be offered to these persons. And for those who are unwilling or unable to get on the program, there will be ways devised to ensure that they do not interfere with the processes. To this end some new personnel will be hired on contractual basis to ensure that they don’t fall into complacency modes where some officers find themselves in currently. Some of those new officers will also be tasked with doing customer service and providing information for the general public. Along with this there will be improved signage to better inform customers at the lands department of where they should be visiting to conduct their transactions.
In the area of security, cameras will be placed in to monitor staff especially at district levels where the cameras will be placed in all public access areas.
According to the CEO, all that is now being implemented is, “overdue and must be done in a collective and coherent manner,” to attain effective service delivery.The Guardian