Ombudsman Commission Clears Path For Correct Land Title Transfer To NGO

The Ombudsman Commission’s investigation clears the Department of Lands and Physical Planning after investigating a complaint that relates to an alleged improper issuance of title of a Special Purpose Lease to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

The Commission commenced an investigation in 2021 after receiving a complaint from another NGO Association which alleged that the title to the property (a reserved land) in Port Moresby was transferred under fraudulent circumstances without following the lawful conveyancing processes.

The complaint was investigated by the Ombudsman Commission under the Organic Law on the Ombudsman Commission purposely to ascertain whether the Department of Lands and Physical Planning had followed proper administrative processes when awarding the title to the NGO.

It was revealed after a thorough investigation that the Department of Lands and Physical Planning did not breach any laws or processes when issuing the title to the NGO.  The investigation reveals that the Department had followed all the conveyancing processes and procedures set out under the Land Act 1996 and Land Registration Act 1981.

However, the Ombudsman Commission’s investigation discovered a significant issue with the original owner’s copy of the title where the title was issued using the wrong provision of the Land Act 1996. Since the title of the property was already issued to the NGO in accordance with the legal process, the Commission recommended to the Department of Lands to amend the original title and reissue a new one based on its findings.

The Department of Lands had reissued a correct copy of the Special Purpose Lease to the NGO organization pursuant to Section 100 of the Land Act 1996 after considering the findings and recommendations of the Ombudsman Commission.

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