Milestones in the Land Registry Department
Primarily over the last three years, the Land Registry has advanced by leaps and bounds. Below are some of its most noteworthy achievements
- Land Registry Service Standards and Customer Satisfaction
The Land Registry has been able to achieve most of its service standards which are as follows:
- To complete 80% of all applications within 7 days of receipt
- To complete 98.5% of applications free from error
- To complete 98% of certified copy applications with 48 hours of receipt
- To respond to letters within 5 working days
- To answer telephone calls in a timely and professional manner and we will aim to deal with your enquiry immediately. If we cannot do this, we will contact you within 48 hours with a reply or inform you of progress in the matter.
- To fully consider any suggestion for how we may improve our service and to learn from any complaint that we may receive
These standards underpin the commitment to delivering an excellent level of customer service to the public which has also seen drastic improvements.
- Parcel File Room
Over 10,000 parcel files were created and organised so that documentation with respect to several parcels of land were properly indexed and could be easily retrieved for the better functioning of the Land Registry and the delivery of customer service.
- Updating of the PDF Land Registers
Copies of the Land Registers are stored electronically. These were updated to an unprecedented accuracy level for ease of reference and enhanced customer service delivery.
All staff members have received training in land registration and conveyancing principles by Terraquad, thus enhancing their legal skills and knowledge of the processes at the Land Registry in order to deliver an enviable service and give advice. Staff members have also benefitted from training at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.
- Revenue Generation
The Land Registry is one of the TCI’s major revenue earner, surpassing its target in the last financial year. Within the last few months, the following have been achieved-
- Customer satisfaction survey
The Land Registry Department conducted its first customer satisfaction survey between mid- December 2014 and February 2015. The survey targeted regular customers of the Land Registry as well as stakeholders in the real estate business.
The results of the survey made it evident that the Land Registry staff were to be commended. 45% of respondents acknowledged that the Land Registry staff was courteous and handled customer calls quickly. 55% of the respondents also indicated that the staff were knowledgeable and were satisfied with the level of information and guidance they received.
41% of the respondents were satisfied with the timeliness and accuracy of the processing of matters at the Land Registry and the quality of the customer service at the Land Registry very satisfactory. Overall, 54.5% of the respondents would rate their experience with the Land Registry as above average.
The survey was conducted to give the Land Registry an idea of how well it was doing and to provide information as to the direction clients would like to see it move towards.
Several brochures on various topics have been prepared for use by the Land Registry clients in an effort to provide more information and educate the public about the services of the Land Registry Department.
- Study Tour
In April 2015, two members of the Land Registry Department as part of a delegation from the Lands Division visited the National Land Agency in Kingston, Jamaica on a study tour to learn of the successes achieved by that Agency and the difficulties encountered along its journey to modernization. It is expected that most of the best practices observed will be implemented at the Land Registry to improve its efficiency and customer service focus.
- Computerised system
An electronic system has been implemented to deal with and track the processing of applications. This system is expected to be commissioned into use this month. Once done, it is anticipated that applications will be processed in a shorter timeframe
A helpdesk service has been established to deal with queries via calls and emails expeditiously. The Helpdesk is manned by all the knowledgeable staff and duties are rotated on a weekly basis. This is directly in response to the concerns about needing to contact the Registry with ease.
- Adjudication Records
The Land Registry Department has recently undertaken the filing and indexing of the TCI Land Adjudication records that are the foundation documents for the registration of land in the TCI, some of them over a 125 years old. These documents tell the stories of several notable families in the islands and holds the history of many prominent places. The Registry’s activities will simplify the process of retrieving these records and preserve the rich history of the islands.
- Electronic Rejection and Registration Notices
Better communication initiatives have been implemented recently with the use of emails to communicate with clients about the completion or rejection of their applications. This is extremely helpful to clients who have commended the new services.
Apparent from the recent customer satisfaction survey was the fact that customers were anxious to see the implementation of new services.
The Land Registry has plans to provide its customers with electronic forms and corresponding guidance notes for sale. An express service is also being explored where documents will be registered within a 48 hour turnaround time at a cost.
The establishment of a sub-office in Providenciales is also being explored to facilitate the customers and the wealth of business that emanates from that island.
As part of the process to digitize the information at the Registry and automate the services provided, two new Land Registry Clerks positions have been created to assist. In addition, new scanners and computers have been procured to start the process.
Staff members will benefit from more training initiatives. In October 2015, advanced training in land registration and conveyancing training will be undertaken.
In the long run, the plan is for the Land Registry to have an electronic platform on which its resources and information can be stored and sold. Eventually, this will be made accessible to the public who can purchase documents and request services on line leading to e-registration.
In time, it is hoped customers will be able to make payments at the Land Registry and submit documents for registration simultaneously.
Plans are in train for the Registered Land Ordinance and the Stamp Duty Ordinance under which the Land Registry operates to be amended in order to modernise practices and have them brought in line with best practices worldwide.