The Dept of Lands is completely incompetent and dishonest
The Department of Lands and Physical Planning is beset with “gross incompetence”, a state of affairs that is compounded by “extremely irresponsible and dishonest State officers” says the Report from the Commission of Inquiry into the Department of Finance.
The Commission has recommended a separate inquiry be set up to into the management of the Department of lands to “identify and rectify the systematic failings and misconduct”.
This recommendation has recently been endorsed by Secretary for Justice, Lawrence Kalinoe. Kalinoe has publicly called for a Commission on Inquiry into the Lands Department – a department which he describes as “totally corrupt”.
The Finance Department Commissioners, Justices Sheehan and Davani and businessman Dan Manua, identified the following long list of serious failings in the Department of Lands:
1) Acquisition of customary land by the State-
- Lack of proper records as to original acquisition;
- Lack of instructions to the State Solicitor and Solicitor General to protect the interests of the State;
- Gross disregard of Schedule 2 of the National Land Registration Act on assessment of claims;
2) Mismanagement of State land -
- Operations of the PNG Land Board;
- Non-compliance with requirements of Land Act and related
- legislation and lease covenants (UDL and all other leases);
- Abuse and misapplication of the laws;
- Missing land files;
- Missing documents;
- Ad-hoc creation of supplementary files;
- Unreliable filing system;
- Unreliable Registers;
- Lack of co-ordination within department;
- Fraudulent creation of files and documents;
- Forgery of signatures of officers;
- Failure to notify interested persons;
- Uncertainty with appointments for meetings generally;
- Lack of supervision of all staff;
- Failure to observe business opening hours;
- Inefficient service;
- Unreliable recording of information on files;
- Unreliable custody and movement of files;
- Lack of effective communication with Solicitor General, State Solicitor and related state agencies in protecting State’s interests.