Land Registration Officers and Land Registration employees will move back to Land Court from Bureau of Land and Surveys if Senate bill 11-46, SD1 is passed into law.  And if so, it will not be the first time.

Under RPPL 6-31, Land Registration Officers (LRO) were moved from Land Court to Bureau of Land and Survey.  This current bill seeks to return them to Land Court, saying that it is the most efficient to administer Land Registration.  It is to “ensure more oversight and efficiency” and to “expedite the Land Court’s mandate to hold hearings and make determination of land ownership,” stated the bill findings.

The findings of the bill blame the slow determination of land ownership on RPPL 6-31 that moved LROs’ to the Bureau of Land and Survey.  “After four constitutional governments, we have the benefit of history to see that the relocation did not prompt more efficient work.”

Under the proposed bill, the sole responsibility of the Bureau of Land and Surveys will be to “conduct surveys and make-up surveys, and oversee all necessary monumentation and mapping”.

Land Court, in addition to its responsibility to hold hearings and determine ownership of land, will be administering the Land Registration program and monitoring Land Registration Officers.

The issue of expediting land ownership determination has been difficult to resolve with at least 8 laws passed at different times setting deadlines for all land ownership determinations to be completed and each time, the deadline had to be reset.  The last law passed, RPPL 10-5, remove the deadline to determine land ownership altogether and remove the deadline set for the Bureau of Land and Survey to monument and survey lands. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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