Saturday, June 07, 2008

ILS Land Register Software (LRS) for Zambia

International Land Systems (ILS), Inc has successfully implemented its Land Register System (LRS) in the Ministry of Lands, Zambia as part of the Zambia Threshold Project (ZTP). Funded through the Millennium Challenge Corporation and implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) the Zambia Threshold Project was designed to improve three Government of Zambia institutions that have been particularly prone to corruption and are in need of reform in order for the country to become eligible for further financial assistance from the MCC. One of these institutions has been the Ministry of Lands. During the ZTP program the Ministry of Lands was temporarily closed and Senior staff removed by the President due to gross malpractice. A new Minister of Lands and Permanent Secretary were also installed.

Over the last year since the Ministry was closed and then re-opened, the Ministry of Lands has implemented a number of recommendations made by ILS that are specifically designed to fight ongoing corruption within the Ministry, including the construction of dedicated customer service center, the establishment of an archive scanning production line for existing paper records and the creation of a digital cadastral index map. ILS has also recommended legal and regulatory reforms that will result in more transparency for land transactions.

Given weaknesses in the previous Land Information Management system (LIMS), ILS has configured and installed its Land Register Software (LRS) which will act as the official Zambian Land Administration System (ZLAS) and replaces LIMS. The introduction of ZLAS is reducing the time needed to complete land transactions. LRS also provides features such as automatic fee calculation, an audit log of all modifications to the Registry and powerful reporting functions that are limiting the opportunities for corruption within the Ministry.

On May 23rd, 2008 the Ministry of Lands Customer Service Center was officially opened by the President of Zambia, His Excellency the President of Zambia Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC and the US Ambassador to Zambia Ms. Carmen Martinez. The Customer Service Center will act as the single location in which all land transactions will take place, ensuring that citizens will no longer be required to carry documents between departments within the Ministry. With LRS now in use, documents will be entered into the system electronically and make their way through configured workflows, ensuring that documents can be tracked at all times and are processed by the correct person and at the right time. LRS will accurately record how long registration is taking and by recording key attributes such as gender the Ministry will ensure its meeting service charter (e.g. that 30% of land is allocated to women). Using public access terminals at the Customer Service Center, citizens will be able to check the status of their property registration. Through the utilization of ESRI’s ArcGIS and ArcGIS Server software the Survey Department is building a topologically correct cadastral index map for Lusaka which will spatially enable registry information and tightly integrate survey data with ownership details held in ZLAS.

During a tour of the new facility President Mwanawasa stated that “Zambia has now defined a new process for a transparent, effective and efficient land administration system for our country” a sentiment echoed by the US Ambassador Ms Martinez.

ILS is pleased to be working in partnership with MCC/USAID and the Government in Zambia and in leading the effort in providing products and services that are helping to modernize the Ministry of Lands in Zambia.


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