May 08, 2008 -- International Land Systems (ILS), Inc. recently led a Land Registry Study Tour for Egyptian delegates as part of the USAID Egyptian Financial Services Project, for which ILS leads Task 2, designed to Improve Operation of the Registration System for Urban Properties in Cairo. The group travelled to the United Kingdom and Jamaica during a ten day excursion in March, getting a glimpse of how Land Registries are operated globally. Those in attendance included representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Real Estate Publicity Department (REPD), the Egyptian Survey Authority (ESA), and the Egypt Financial Services Project (EFS). Task Leader and ILS Vice President, Mr. Noel Taylor, designed the tour program and accompanied the delegates as technical escort.
The study tour began with three days at the HM Land Registry Croydon Office in England. Senior registry staff provided the delegates with lectures and demonstrations on registration procedures in England and Wales, conversion of deeds to title under first registration, customer services, organizational structures and staff, surveying and mapping for general boundaries, electronic conveyancing, and the use of IT in managing HMLR registry operations.
Later in the week, the group traveled to Kingston, Jamaica for the second phase of the study tour. The first session in Kingston was an overview of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands Department. From there, the group continued on to an overview of the National Land Agency (NLA), including the history of its establishment, its position within public sector framework, and its corporate planning; discussions of the NLA’s Human Resources and Corporate Services were also integrated. Throughout the remainder of their time in Jamaica, the delegates participated in a presentation and walkthrough of the Land Titles Division, as well as a presentation and walkthrough of the Surveys & Mapping Division.
A key focus of the visit to Jamaica was providing delegates with the ability to view ILS market leading land registry software, ILS LRS, being used in a live registry environment supporting high volumes of daily transactions. ILS LRS supports for than 450 concurrent users in the NLA in processing more than 50,000 transactions per year. ILS LRS is currently being configured to automate Egyptian land registry procedures for deployment as the Enhanced Parcel Based Deeds System (EPBDS) in the Model Registry Office (MRO) being established in the Mokattam District of Cairo. With a service area covering well in excess of 100,000 properties, the MRO will showcase the efforts of ILS and the Ministry of Justice in streamlining and improving urban property registration. It is anticipated that on opening, the MRO will initially cut the average number of days required to register property from 193 days to less than 100, with more improvements to come.
The senior GOE delegate of the tour, Assistant Minister of Justice – Dr. Mohamed Hosni, was glowing in his praise of the tour’s outcomes. He said, “We greatly appreciate the assistance of USAID and ILS in conducting this valuable study tour. It has provided us with the ability to share knowledge and experiences with countries where reforms similar to Egypt’s are being undertaken. It has highlighted the need to craft these experiences into further reforms for the Egyptian context to make life easier for all Egyptians when registering their property. I was very impressed with the software being used in Jamaica and look forward to it being customized to our needs and installed in Mokattam.”