July 22, 2013

Surveyors raise issues

Nanise Loanakadavu
Monday, July 22, 2013

THE Fiji Institute of Surveyors has requested that a team of highly qualified surveyors be appointed to administer and manage the Department of Lands and Surveys.
During a meeting with acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last week, Fiji Institute of Surveyors Suva branch president Himayat Ali voiced concerns on the need to beef up the department.
Mr Ali said the department was a key player in the development of infrastructure and acquisition of land titles for the security of tenure for members of the public.
He said some of the key management positions at the ministries, statutory bodies and other agencies were being replaced by those from other professions who may not have the professional qualification and experience of a surveyor required to perform the duties of the posts.
About 32 registered surveyors outside the civil services are practising, non practising or looking for work.
The institute's four areas of concerns are approval processes, moratorium on agricultural lease which means subdivision is not allowed, getting completion certificates for approval of final subdivision plans from the Fiji Roads Authority, and key management surveyor positions being given to people with no professional qualifications.
"The approval process takes multiple departments such as the Lands Department, iTaukei Land Trust Board, Department of Town and Country Planning," Mr Ali said.
"Any deficiencies in resources, expertise or policies result in significant delays that we experience and that subdivision application to the responsible ministries go into coma.
"How will the development progress for people to get titles, loan etc. to build for their security, progress and prosperity?"
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, however, assured the Fiji Institute of Surveyors of government's support.
He said there were some issues which needed to be addressed.
"These are regarding some of the perhaps lethargic approach to the matters that affect surveyors and generally in terms of development.
"You know the Bainimarama government is working very hard to build a new Fiji basically on the foundations of what one may call a very unstable system.
He said they were going about it in a very specific and measured manner and laying a new foundation of a modern nation.
The institute proposed a new board to be appointed with five members with the surveyor general as the chairman.

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