NASSAU, Bahamas — Making Crown Land available at concessionary rates for home construction and business endeavours, particularly in the Family Islands, is one of the Government’s Crown Land commitments to the Bahamian people.
Another commitment involves reducing, and where possible bringing to and end, the unauthorised occupation and development of Crown Land, said Minister of State for Lands and Local Government the Hon. Byran Woodside.
To achieve these objectives, it is necessary to put in place clearly defined procedures and work flows aided by a well-organised and maintained record keeping and data management system, Mr. Woodside added.
A growing public sector’s demand for efficiency in the delivery of services and the technology available makes the tried and proven manual way of record keeping and data management system impractical and automation is “indeed the better way”, he explained.
“Land is our most valuable tangible asset and the Crown is the largest landholder in The Bahamas, hence effective management is critical to efficient and orderly development.”
As a result, the Department of Lands and Surveys commenced training for the Crown Estate Management System, which was customised by International Land Systems Inc., through the Land Use Policy and Administration Project.
Speaking at the recent opening for introduction and training for the new system, the Minister of State said it provides all required tools and procedures to automate relevant processes including:
Correspondence Management – all incoming and outgoing mail;
Crown Grants Management – preparation and maintenance of deeds used to convey the freehold of Crown Land;
Leasehold Management – preparation and maintenance of formal documents creating a contract for a specific term of years;
Annual License Management – preparation and maintenance of documents which pass no interest in Crown Land but makes lawful what would otherwise be unlawful;
Parcel Management – creation and storage of Crown parcels that may be the subject of a Grant, Lease or License;
Seabed and Sand Dredging License Management;
Lease Assignment Management;
Compulsory Acquisition records as derived Official Gazettes;
Valuation records and supporting data; and
Treasury lands records most of which have already been digitally obtained from Treasury Department.
Mr. Woodside told the participants, “While I am aware that populating these datasets is ongoing and at times tedious, you and by extension the public cannot and indeed will not derive any benefit from this management system until it is completed.
“I implore you therefore, to not only learn as much as you can as quickly as you can, but also equally assist in organising and editing the relevant data for importation.”
He said that with the assistance of International Land Systems, the Department is in the process of organising digital records of:
Aerial photography – New Providence, Grand Bahama, Exuma, San Salvador, Rum Cay and Matthew Town, Inagua;
Survey Plans – All Bahama Islands;
Topographic Maps – All Bahama Islands;
Land Resource Surveys – Most Family Islands; and
Other historical information.
Mr. Woodside said, “These data sets are extremely valuable to the Government for making informed decisions in relation to national development and I commend you for your efforts and look forward to its completion and subsequent use.”
NASSAU, The Bahamas — Minister of State for Lands and Local Government the Hon. Byran Woodside opens the introduction and training workshop for the Crown Estate Management System was customised especially for the Department of Lands and Surveys. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Lands and Surveys)