Monday, May 05, 2008

Modernization of Land Management Systems

The World Bank today approved a loan equivalent to US$203 million to the Government of Turkey for the Land Registry and Cadastre Modernization Project. The Project will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the land registry and cadastre services.

"The Project constitutes a next generation of Bank operations in the area of land management and cadastre, where the country already has a well functioning property rights regime, but is striving to take the land registry and cadastre data use to the next level by spreading its benefits to people, businesses and multiple sectors, and facilitating better access to real estate information through the e-government platform,” said Wael Zakout, Sector Manager and Task Team Leader for the Project. “This project will also help improve customer service by reducing the time taken to register a property transaction to a few hours, and develop property appraisal function in line with international standards.”

The project will (i) renovate and update cadastre maps to support digital cadastre and land registry information; (ii) make the digital land registry and cadastre information available to public and private entities (iii) improve customer services in land registry and cadastre offices; (iv) improve human resources in the Turkish Land Registry and Cadastre Agency (TKGM); and (v) develop policies and capacity to introduce best international practices in property valuation in Turkey.

While the Turkish Cadastre and Registration system is considered one of the most effective in the region and registration of property transactions is done within one day in many offices, there are still many shortcomings to be addressed to ensure that the system modernizes to reach the same service level as in the European countries. Many of the Cadastre and Land Registry offices rely on manual systems, with old documents, some of them dating back to the Ottoman times. In addition, the TAKBIS system (Turkey’s computerized Cadastre and Land Registry Software) runs in only 140 out of the 1000 offices.

The most challenging aspect is that cadastral maps continue to be in a paper format, vary in accuracy and consistency, and are not linked to the national network. This makes it difficult to support E-government applications as cadastre maps serve as a base mapping for many government applications. Furthermore, in many localities maps are out of date and do not correspond with the ground locations and areas, differing sometimes by up to 10 meters.

The project will be funded by an IBRD flexible variable spread loan. It will have a maturity of 23.5 years including a 5 year grace period.

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