Complaints against lands office

Prabha Wati Prasad raises her concerns during the Fiji First Party Rally in Drasa Lautoka. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

THERE have been complaints about the Lands Department in Lautoka, says FijiFirst general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He made the comment during a rally at Drasa in Lautoka after a frustrated resident spoke about the time it takes for new lease applications to be processed. “Firstly, my office does not process it, I am the Attorney-General and Minister of Economy,” he said.

“That’s the responsibility of the Ministry of Lands. And yes, there have been complaints about the Lands Department, in particular about the Lautoka office.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there had been a lot of allegations of corruption and bribery which have led to the removal, termination and transfer of some people.

“In fact, the Lautoka office was in a very bad state and some would argue it still is. This is the reason why we’re carrying out civil service reforms.

“You see, when we talk about civil service reforms it is not only about the salaries of the civil servants, not only about their contracts.

“It’s also about structures within the respective ministries because many of the ministries, the way they are structured is from the colonial times and some of the ministries have not kept up to pace with economic changes.

“The Ministry of Lands has not kept up with technology. We have currently engaged Singaporeans to bring about electronic transactions in Government.

“So you don’t have to physically send files, people can do transactions electronically and that work is currently being done, you see a lot of changes happening in the next nine to 12 months.”