Land Equity International is strictly following its third core business objective of “expansion of the market”. The LEI branch office in Europe “LEIE” is fully functioning with the new young personnel and an experienced Manager. The LEIE office is already serving local customers (individual, municipalities and companies) in providing survey and cadastre services, as well as bidding for projects in SAGW under the World Bank funded project in Macedonia and local surveying and mapping consultancies on other projects in Macedonia. The LEIE office is also looking for consulting opportunities in the Balkans and the time zone (Europe/Africa), region.
Since establishment, the LEIE office, with support from LEI in Wollongong, has sent Expressions of Interest (EOI) to the Land Administration projects in Yemen and Azerbaijan, and is waiting for advice on short listing. The Managing Director Mr. Tony Burns visited the office in Skopje from the 18th to the 20th of May, where he met the new personnel and had a dinner with them, and the Manager had the opportunity to see what had been done so far, and to discuss the further steps in developing the business plan.
One of our aims is visiting the surrounding countries in the Balkan region, to promote the Company and expand our market,and also to establish a professional local consultancy network and establish a relationship with strategic partner companies. According to this Mr. Tony Burns and Suleiman Dabbas received an invitation from the Chamber of Survey and Cadastre Engineers, to participate on the 2nd Turkish Cadastre Conference in Ankara. This visit was undertaken from 21st to 25th of May.
During the visit in Turkey LEI had an opportunity to meet with the domestic and international experts from neighboring countries (Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Cyprus, EU-member states (Dutch Cadastre, BEV-Austria, Munich University) and Arabic countries (Libya and Dubai) to discuss on best practice in Land Administration.
In Turkey we met the members of the Turkish Chamber of Survey and Cadastre Engineers and the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre (TKGM-Tapu ve Kadastro Genel Müdürlügil), as well as Private Surveying and Mapping companies and made some good local,contacts.
LEIE signed its first local contract, under the Study on Wastewater Management in Skopje – Macedonia, with an international company: Tokyo engineering consultant’s co.,ltd,. “The JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) contracted with the Tokyo Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd (TEC)”. LEIE with its own capacity, will undertake the following surveying works:
1. Topographic Survey of 130ha,
2. Profile survey and plane survey, length about 11 km,
3. Six Cross section survey of “Vardar” river
4. Invert level survey for 10 manholes
The LEI Project Manager, Ms. Jacqueline Besgrove, is visiting the branch office from June 21st to July 3rd, to setup systems in the branch office, including the quality systems to ISO 9001:2000 standards, based on the systems used in the main office in Wollongong. This visit will help the LEIE employees have a better understanding of the LEI business and business systems.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Jacqui and to wish her a nice and productive stay in Skopje, also to thank her in advance for her efforts to share knowledge to the LEIE staff. We will do our best to be a good host.
I am writing this as I prepare to leave for a two week assignment in Ethiopia. I have spent much of the past few months out of the office. In late April I left for a 5 week trip to Africa, Europe and the US. On this trip I had the chance to visit LEI’s Europe office in Skopje and to catch up with Suleiman Dabbas (Branch Manager, LEI Europe) and the new LEI Europe staff based in Macedonia. The LEI Europe office – or offices as we have 2 – was just getting established but I had the opportunity to meet the staff and understand what work is being undertaken in the office. Suleiman Dabbas and I then participated in the 2nd Cadastre Congress in Ankara Turkey, where we both made presentations and made some good contacts.
My work in the US was a mixture of continued work on the governance study and work on the strategy for Land Equity Americas (LEA) with David Hosking, Vice-President LEA. The governance study is progressing a little slower than we had planned but the first case study in Peru should be undertaken in July or August. We are then planning a workshop in September, possibly in Ethiopia. Our strategy for LEA has also been progressing slower than planned, and although we have generated some work with the IFC and USAID, opportunities have evolved slower than anticipated and we have decided that we can no longer justify a full-time representative in the US. As a result, David finishes up at the end of June and I would like to thank him for his efforts in getting LEA up and running. LEA will continue to operate with resources from Australia and I will be the new contact for LEA opportunities.
In mid June Chris Lunnay and I participated in the AusAID Pacific Land Conference in Vanuatu, where AusAID launched the recent publication Making Land Work. Key politicians from many countries in the Pacific participated and the conference was a good forum to understand what is happening in the Pacific and what is planned. AusAID recently announced a significant land program in the Pacific and we are well positioned to work with them to develop activities under this program. LEI’s Senior Associates, Jim Fingleton and Rae Porter, also attended the conference.
In my limited time back in Wollongong I have met with LEI’s management group and reviewed the status of our business plan. Craig Thomson (General Manager) will be continuing work on the plan while I am away and we plan to complete the revised business plan by the end of July. The Board will discuss and review the new business plan when they meet in August. Kylie Anthony (Manager – Business Development) is organising a Knowledge Sharing Workshop to promote good practice in land administration in August. LEI plan to host the workshop in Canberra during the middle of August. We look forward to participation from our clients, staff, senior advisers and key contacts. Some of you may have heard that Clare Brazenor, our Systematic Registration Specialist, recently got engaged to her long term partner Rodel. Clare is heading back to Australia to undertake some further studies from 1 July. I’d like to extend our congratulations to Clare on her engagement and wish her all the best with her studies. She will be sorely missed on the LAMP II project.
Philippines-Australia Land Administration and Management Project –Phase II– Provided by Clare Brazenor
For the last two and a half years I have been based in Leyte with the LAMP2 operations as the International Adviser for Systematic Adjudication. Over these years there has been some tremendous achievements made.
Coming into this position (September 2005 when LAMP was in a transition between phase 1 and phase 2) the field operations for systematic adjudication were in their infancy. At this time there were two Systematic Adjudication Teams (SATs) in operation and the outputs and productivity levels for these SATs were not high. With LAMP2 came a change in focus from a learning and innovations phase to a focus on expanding the operations of systematic adjudication and meeting output targets while maintaining quality and adhering to prescribed procedures.
It has been during this time (2006-2008) that there are two standout achievements for systematic adjudication in the Philippines-Australian Land Administration and Management Project. The first key achievement was to increase the outputs and ensure quality of field works remains high. This achievement has been exemplified with the outputs from the SATs in 2006 and 2007. In 2006 there were two SATs in operation and the titling achieved for the year was just above 2500. While in 2007, the province of Leyte embarked upon an expansion program that saw two additional SATs being deployed and the output of 7700 titles for the year. This increase in outputs heralded changes in management focus and instilled a self-belief in field staff and provincial managers that systematic adjudication can be applied in an operational mode.
The second key achievement during this time was the successful development and undertaking of an intense immersion training program for all new recruits. The project has developed an operations manual and standard training curriculum and materials based on competency based learning principles. This training program provided all new recruits for the SATs with a 6 week training program covering many subjects from what is land administration, the guiding principles of monitoring and evaluation, the application of social and environmental safeguards in LAMP to the job and position specific training. This training program in Leyte is now supporting operations for other provinces and also for the innovations support fund (local government units undertaking activities for improved land tenure security) and will be a good basis for future development of the Leyte Resource Centre for Land Tenure Security.
On a personal note, after nearly 7 years abroad it is time to take a break and spend some time back home with family and friends in Australia for a while. I am taking leave to pursue a Masters of Social Science (Environment and Planning) at RMIT. It will also be an opportune time for me to prepare and plan for our wedding next year. The past two and half years have been thoroughly enjoyable with many a friendship developed. It has been especially enjoyable to work with such dedicated, intelligent and friendly people as Hernani Delos Reyes (the PENRO for Leyte and Project Manager for LAMP at Leyte), Winston Solite (the Deputy Project Manager at Leyte), Engineer Lito Castanares (the Operations Chief for the SATs), Engineer Noemi Ponferrada (Head of the Technical Services Unit at Leyte). To all the staff at PPIO and the OSS of Leyte I truly wish you all the very best. And to the many technical advisors who had the pleasure of being based and working at Leyte- I say thank you for the good times and happy days. A special mention must be made to Mr Eusebio Panganiban (Mono) and Mr Nick Roxas our dedicated local experts. And last but not least, a huge thank you to the administration and support staff at Leyte. Without Reggie, Leah, Junal and Lemuel the office would not function and work in Leyte would be just that much more difficult.
As our Phase 2 draws to a close, plans for various extensions are on the drawing board. Since ourlast newsletter, LEI has submitted a plan to AusAID for a small restructure of the technical assistance team. This will see all our national adviser positions extended up to the official end of AusAID’s Phase 2, in November 2008. It will also permit some additional international cadastral inputs, to help the TA team to finalise its capacity-building program.
LEI has also prepared a proposal for a short extension of technical assistance to June 2009, to correspond with the official end of the World Bank Phase 2. This will if accepted permit in additional infusion of TA resources to help NLMA and the Department of Lands continue the expansion of land titling into the final three provinces and to plan for the expanded use of computer applications in systematic adjudication teams and land offices.
This month the team welcomed back David McDowell after a three-month stint in the Philippines LAMP project. We also look forward to the return of George Collett this month, to strengthen the project’s M&E capacity. Kate Dalrymple is currently helping our community education team expand its program and educational materials. Daniel Carter will also rejoin us next month, to complete the conversion of all of our systematic adjudication teams to Total Station and GPS. Daniel will also help us take the next steps in effectively using digital survey data.
In this edition we include an item on a recent team-building activity, helping David McDowell with his house-warming. Provided by Steve McFadzean
I am writing this column as I prepare to leave for Manila and the important mid-term review of the Land Administration and Management Project II (LAMP II). The status of this project is reported extensively in this newsletter. The project has been a key part of our business for the past 3 years and three LEI employees are on long-term assignments there – Ian Lloyd, Clare Brazenor and Daniel Carter. The project has hit most of the targets set for the MTR and is well placed, but faces a number of challenges including changes in management in DENR and getting critical laws in place.
The Land Titling Project II in Laos is also at a critical stage. Our contract with AusAID ends in September this year, but in the mission late last year AusAID indicted approval of an extension to June 2009. A mission in the next month or so will be looking at this request. The land policy project in Palestine is nearly complete. The Ministry of Planning has accepted our final report – the National Land Policy Framework report – and the Legal Report is being formatted and will be submitted this week for final review. This project has been a very interesting but challenging project and I am pleased with the final report.
Kate Dalrymple and I spent the last two weeks of February in Washington working on the Governance in Land Administration study. During this period we revised the conceptual framework document and participated in two presentations of the study supporting Klaus Deininger and other World Bank staff. Alain Durand-Lasserve and three of the Country Case Study Coordinators (Victor Endo from Peru, Herman Soesangobeng from Indonesia and Asyl Undeland from the Kyrgyz Republic) also participated in workshops in Washington in late February. We have further work on the conceptual framework, adding information on land use planning and land development as well as threading in the economic and governance literature. As well as developing the methodology and questionnaires. We then plan to test the questionnaires in Peru in May or June.
The other significant development is in Macedonia. Late last year we registered a branch company in Macedonia to undertake local survey/GIS work and to bid on consulting work in the region. The LEI Board has recently approved a proposal prepared by Suleiman Dabbas to acquire the business of GEOMAP a local survey company. The principal of GEOMAP, Aleksandar Pecalevski and the existing GEOMAP staff Tiho Zlatanovski, Natasha Tripcheva, Ratka Jakimovska, Riste Gjosev, Aleksandra Manchevsha and Irena Dimitrovska are all joining LEI as part of the arrangement. I welcome all these new staff to LEI.
Over the next month we will be starting to update the LEI business plan. This year it is proposed that this plan be prepared by a small team in Wollongong in April. The revised business plan will be used to prepare the LEI budget for next year. Both the business plan and the budget will be presented to the LEI Board and LEI staff and Senior Associates in July. These presentations are likely to be in Canberra, timed to coincide with the land administration workshop that we are planning. For more details on this workshop please see page 9 of this newsletter.
The Project is now in its fifth year of Phase 2 and there are encouraging signs that the host organisation, the National Land Management Authority, is committed to continuing the project into the next decade. Initially they will seek an extension of Phase 2 and then a third phase! This is good news for our technical assistance team, as we are in the last eight months of our inputs. Although the Bank-funded project continues until 30 June 2009, LEI’s contract with AusAID finishes in November 2008.
The Lao Project Director, in recent meetings with AusAID, re-iterated the project advantages and conveyed the intention of the Lao government to extend the benefits of a secure title to all parts of Laos. And as this report is being drafted, NLMA has officially requested the Australian Ambassador for an extension of TA until the end of 2011.
At this stage of the project, besides the Team Leader, the only international consultant that we have on the ground is Kate. She is working in a different environment with the CES activities originally under the DoL having recently been transferred to the Land Natural Resources Information Research Centre. Senior managers of NLMA recently participated in a study tour to Australia. Our Australian Project Director Chris Lunnay and our Project Administrator Ciara Crowley were the local facilitators and ensured that the team made use of the opportunity to learn about the workings of the Queensland and NSW land registries as well as learning more about Australia! The team brought back many valuable lessons.
Some managers will also travel to Cambodia in March, for an exchange between the two projects. Our advisers continue to support the major expansion of the project. The government is committed to extending land titling to all parts of the country as rapidly as possible, and as a result, we are now working in five new provinces. Training of adjudication teams has also started in the remaining three provinces.
Advisers have a fairly extensive program of travel to the 17 provinces over the remaining eight months, to ensure that regional activities are appropriately implemented and that adjudication and land office operations are sustainable. It is almost time to think in terms of regional TA bases, similar to LAMP in the Philippines! Although it seems the last supervision mission has just ended, we are now gearing up for the next mission, scheduled for June 2008. Although administratively demanding, the missions are valuable milestones in the life of the project as they focus on resolving key technical and management roadblocks. More in the next newsletter. Provided by Steve McFadzean
LEI recently signed a contract extension for the World Bank funded Land Administration and Survey Project in Samoa, part of the WB's broader Second Infrastructure Asset Management Project (SIAMII). The primary contract was completed in 2006, however supplementary credit has been provided to enable completion of the vertical component of the geodetic network as well as additional assistance in land registration system and land information systems integration.
The international team includes Neil Pullar and Dennis Brady who return to Samoa to continue their work and Mike Poidevin who continues the work previously undertaken by Andrew Dyson under the primary contract. The team are joined by national survey expert Keilani Soloi to continue the work in implementing the land sector component of SIAM II. Provided by Jacqui Besgrove
Philippines-Australia Land Administration and Management Project –Phase II. A Model in Land Transaction Services and Records Management. On the 11 March 2008, AusAID representatives were accompanied by the Team Leader Ian Lloyd to the LAMP II project site in Leyte province. This visit provided the donors with a lasting impression on the commendable achievements of the project in the management and operations of the One-Stop Shop as well as in the field titling operations involving community mobilization, systematic adjudication and land surveys. After a tentative start in 2005 the OSS Management Plan was done defining the OSS vision and mission statements along with its goals, objectives, and strategies.
The management plan was formulated through a series of consultative planning workshops that were participated by the officers and planners of land administration agencies in Leyte province and the Eastern Visayas region. It provided the framework for the implementation of the OSS.
The OSS Vision and Mission provided the guiding star for the OSS proponents and implementers to aim high with persistence and determination to achieve in spite of the birth pains and organizational constraints in resources and unifying leadership commonly experienced in multi-agency institution-building programs. Today, after six years of operations, the fledgling OSS Front Desk originally attached to the Leyte Prototype Implementation Office under LAMP I evolved into an OSS functional organization manned by 26 personnel consisting of an OSS Manager, a Management Support and Front Desk Unit, and a Technical Support Unit that is mainly responsible for the establishment and maintenance of an automated land records management and information system.
The Leyte Registry of Deeds, the CENRO Land Management Services Palo office, and the Land surveys verification and approval staff of the DENR Regional Office Surveys unit continue operating their regular agency functions at the OSS while the Department of Agrarian R form and the Bureau of Internal Revenue posted a staff member to provide information to clients on agrarian reform and taxation queries. The front desk counter is the common entry point for walk-in and calling clients requesting land transaction and information services from the OSS operating agencies. The volume of land transactions served through the OSS front desk continue to register an increasing trend starting from 172 transactions in July-Sept 2002 to 1,504 transactions in Oct-Dec 2007. The increase in annual volume from a small number of 371 transactions in year 2002 reached a staggering volume of 15,995 transactions in year 2007 (See Bar Chart, Volume of OSS Transactions). In terms of government revenues generated from transaction fees and charges, Registry of Deeds collections from 2002 to 2007 increased by 281%; while CENRO collections from 2003 to 2007 increased by 308%. The minimum service standards developed and agreed in consultation with the employees manning the processing units improved the efficiency in overall service delivery. In 2007, Registry of Deeds land registration/ certification and CENRO certification transactions served within the 3-hour minimum time duration increased by 15%. Transactions completed within 3 days reduced by 9% from an average of 25% to 16% in the same period.
Likewise, transactions that occur in more than 3 days also reduced by 9%, from an average of 15% to 8%. On records management, a continuing inventory and retrieval of land records from different agency sources gradually organized and set up a land records filing and storage system. The collection facilitated manual verification and research of land records and information inquiries, which include lot data computation records, cadastral maps, public land applications, list of claimants, and land titles and documents. An intensive and continuing data capture program of land records gradually increased the volume of encoded records towards the establishment of an automated and integrated land records database. At resent, Registry of Deeds office personnel are busy in an electronic titles data capture program to fast track encoding of an estimated number of 180,000 titles. On mapping operations, the continuing preparation of Consolidated Cadastral Maps (CCM) is at pace to support the map requirements of field activities in community mobilization, surveys and systematic adjudication. CCMs had been completed in 17 municipalities or 40% of the province. Meanwhile, process reengineering mechanisms are undertaken to improve the establishment of a Digital Cadastral DataBase (DCDB) and thereby systematize map management and operations. Ultimately, the DCDB will serve as the basis for the development of a land information system that can generate a variety of land information spatial services and products that could be shared among government agencies, local government units and other stakeholders.
The development and establishment of the computerized OSS Land Administration and Management System (LAMS) for land records management and information services is in progress. The design of Phase 2 is nearing completion, which is intended to replicate LAMS to remote offices and synchronize the databases among offices. Phase 3 is on the design and development stage, intended to monitor and trace the flow of transactions, automate transaction processing where possible, and generate management reports, while maintaining the Register up-to-date and ensuring consistency with the approved surveys. The OSS is at the forefront and at the end of the LAMP mass titling program. The CCMs produced from the mapping operations provide the basic textual and spatial lot information necessary to commence field activities. At the other end is the registration and distribution of the titles to the claimant-beneficiaries by the Registry of Deeds. Last year 2007, a total number of 7,644 patents have all been registered, comprising95% of the 8,000 target patents for distribution to claimants.
Now, two years into the 5-year LAMP II project implementation a review and strategic planning exercise by the GOP together with the adviser team has identified a strengthened OSS. This will include improvements in land records management, information sharing and land transaction services not only to support mass titling but also to support the land market in high value urban areas. In addition, current OSS land transaction services have expanded beyond strengthening of land registration systems to a broader range of transaction services and comprehensive IT systems covering registration, survey and valuation to better meet the needs of local government, business as well as the public. It is expected the OSS will transform into a lands field office of the future Land Administration Authority when the proposed Land Administration Reform Act (LARA Bill) will be passed in Congress. Provided by Pelagio Pastor
The Governance in Land Administration Project is in full swing. After an initial presentation of the fundamental concept during the World Bank Land Thematic Group Mini-Retreat, Tony spent a very busy week meeting with Bank staff discussing their ideas and experiences on land administration projects. Not being a typical LEI project, these face to face encounters provided a crucial stage in developing an understanding of the project needs and significantly expanding our coverage of land administration issues in a global context.
Upon return Kate and Tony have been busily preparing a large Conceptual Framework Report with the assistance of our close colleagues and associates. With seriously short deadlines and a huge research study ahead of us we have been calling on the assistance of some of our close colleagues and associates. Once the draft report is completed by the 7th January, more activities begin to roll out, including: an e-discussion, additional World Bank presentations to the advisory committee, a regional workshop, 5 country case studies (Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Peru and Tanzania) and wrapping up with a final synthesis report. Expected to be complete by November 2008, it will be a very busy but exciting next few months for all involved.
Check out the GLTN forum website for our topic posting http://www.gltn.net/en/forum/listcat.html. The e-Discussion isto be held from January 14th –25th. We look forward to reading your contributions! Provided by Kate Dalrymple
The end of another year is quickly approaching. It has been a busy year for LEI, a year where we have made significant progress in the implementation of the growth strategies that we had developed last year. During the year we have registered a new company in the US – Land Equity Americas Inc and a branch company in Macedonia – Land Equity International (Europe). David Hosking is heading up our efforts in the US and Suleiman Dabbas is setting up our office in Macedonia and both were in Wollongong last week to participate in our semi-annual meetings and to make presentations to the board.
The US effort is focussed on opportunities in the Americas and on projects funded by USAID and MCC. We are making progress in the US and almost had consultants mobilised to our first USAID funded project in December. We will be mobilising consultants to the USAID funded project in East Timor under a sub-contract with ARD early in the New Year and we have some other immediate opportunities to follow-up.
The strategy in Macedonia is to establish a local survey company in Skopje and to use this as a base for bidding on consulting work in the time zone. Suleiman made a very interesting report to the board and it is likely that we will be looking at an acquisition to get the business moving quickly in a way that Suleiman has the time available to follow up the many consulting opportunities in the region. Our existing business is also progressing well, although not without its challenges. LAMP II is preparing for a Mid-Term Review in March 2008 and this review will determine the shape of the project going forward and our future involvement. The project is meeting some key targets but faces many difficulties.
However I am confident that Ian Lloyd and his team are making every effort to ensure the success of the project. The project in Laos is also reaching a key stage. In the past year there has been significant institutional reform. Although there are some risks associated with this reform we are hopeful that our contract will be extended to help support the reform and ensure that past project initiatives continue to be sustainable. Again I am confident that Steve McFadzean and the team in Laos are making every effort to ensure project success. In Wollongong a major project that we are working on is the Governance in Land Administration study for the World Bank. Kate Dalrymple and I are working on this study with input by a number of key associates,including the University of Melbourne and Washington University in St Louis. We are busy preparing a detailed conceptual framework for this study for an eConference that will be run on the Global Land Tools Network in the later half of January.
We have increased staff in the past year to support our business strategies. Giulietta Cappellin returned from maternity leave and we had four new starters during the year - Daniel Carter, Ciara Crowley,Rebecca Palmer and Craig Thomson. Daniel has spent his time on the projects in Laos and the Philippines. Ciara Crowley joined the company as a Project Coordinator. Rebecca Palmer joined the company as an Administration Officer when Giulietta Cappellin returned part-time from maternity leave and Kim Martin left the company to take up a fulltime position at the University of Wollongong. Craig Thomson joined the company as General Manager in October and has quickly settled in. Craig will spend a lot more time in the office and less time travelling than Chris or myself and will be takingon a key management role in Wollongong. The board has agreed on a set of responsibilities for Craig and myself and I am sure that this will strengthen our head office operations. Craig has a strong management and industry background and I am sure he will be a strong contributor to our growth going forward.
Finally, I would like to thank all our staff and associates for their contributions during the year and wish them and their families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.