THE Lands Department plans to collect $10million owed by tenants in the west by increasing staff numbers at its Lautoka office.
The move to deploy senior staff to the outpost, according to permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa, would also strengthen the division's operations and service delivery.
He said the engagement of a more experienced and effective workforce was also important because the west was an important economic region.
Mr Boseiwaqa said the division, through tourism and sugar, contributed a lot to the country's economic base. "One of our major targets this year is to also improve our relationships with our clients especially our lessees," he said.
He said project officers would be hired to update data after verification on the ground.
"We need to harmonise our records by visiting each lessee and updating their information by storing it in the data for our records." The department is owed $19m by crown lease tenants of which $10m is owed by lessees in the west.