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Land Registry & Town Planning to enter 21st century

Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has announced plans to introduce new IT systems into Town Planning and Land Registry offices throughout Cyprus to improve services offered to the public.

THE INTERIOR ministry has presented new automation systems that will be installed at the Town Planning and Land Registry departments to upgrade the services they offer the public.

Presenting the systems on Friday, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis expressed his conviction that they will “usher in a new era in the services provided by the state to the public.”

The first concerns a comprehensive information system worth over €12 million for the Town Planning Department that will cover all its activities and services as well as those of district administrations regarding construction permits.

The system will be rolled out gradually within 36 months from the day of introduction, the minister said.

For the public it would mean less bureaucracy and shorter waits for construction permits, Sylikiotis said.

It will also allow people to access useful information through the Internet.

“For the state, among others, it means cuts in cost, increase of productivity, (and) a more rational organisation of development,” Sylikiotis said.

As regards the Land Registry, in the next two months the department will introduce an Internet application that will provide the public with information on plots of land.

At the same time the Land Registry will be linking its systems with municipalities that will be able to input information about property within their boundaries, the minister said.

This will in turn enable the Land Registry to swiftly provide the public and other departments with information. Tenders for this system will open early March.

Sylikiotis also said that efforts were underway to introduce in the next four months, an online system linked to the civil registry and migration department where users will be able to change personal data and submit applications.

Readers' comments

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  • Gavin Jones says:

    jon frazer.

    In order to protect the entrance to his underworld, Pluto aka Sylikiotis will need the three-headed dog Cerberus to gobble up probing action groups, whingeing Brits and other ‘aliens’ and EU memos.

    Each head would presumably sport the face of a ‘friendly’ developer, a ‘trusting’ bank president and a paragon of natural justice, a Paphite lawyer.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Have we now a memorable tag for the dear old chap? Sisyphotis Sylikiotis. Can anyone think of a better nickname? No, no missus! Naughty mockers! Don’t mock the afflicted, perleeease!

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Spot on Frank, but don’t worry, it will all be sorted out when Sylikiotis finally gets back to Viviane in early January!

    Oh no! It’s the 17th Jan already and he’s left his writing pens at home again!

    (His mum didn’t pack them in his satchel this morning!)

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    @Frank. Bang on! I had to look it up: In Greek mythology Sisyphus ( /sɪsɪˈfʌs/[1]; Greek: Σίσυφος, Sísyphos) was a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity.

  • jon frazer says:

    @ Frank 8.32 am.
    I enjoyed your comment, but didn’t Sisyphus actually EXERT himself in his futile rock- shoving?
    Might I suggest Pluto, god of the underworld!

  • Frank says:

    It is so-o-o-o reassuring to know that this news comes from such an unimpeachable source as Neoclis Sylikiotis: the man who repeatedly promised to untie the ‘Gordian Knot’ of developer mortgages and undelivered Title Deeds. He apparently forgets that the Gordian Knot was never actually untied: it was cut through at a single stroke. Yet the minister never showed the boldness of Alexander the Great by cutting through the obstacles which deny buyers their Title Deeds. His past promises have proven empty. What hope can there be for his latest string of promises?

    If Minister Sylikiotis really wishes to compare his failed endeavours to legendary characters; may I suggest Sisyphus?

  • paul lambert says:

    New I.T. system for Land registry ! I could barely contain a loud chuckle when I read it !! How on earth can anyone connected to the Cyprus property market even contemplate all the corruption coming onto a data base ? While they continue with their antiquated paper system, things can go missing and remain hidden. There has been too much corruption, possibly with officials complicit in it. Why would anyone take this seriously. There must be many people quaking in their boots at the thought of it !

  • Mike says:

    On the face of it welcome news but proof of delivery will have judgement reserved on it due to past pan galactic declarations of intent that amounted to nothing. To be positive however it is a step in the right direction and there is nothing to say that the transfer of information will not be outsourced – but I will not hold my breath.

    If we can speed up the issue of title to at least foreign buyers who want them then we can claim to be getting somewhere.

  • Greg Gregory says:

    HMRC will make good use of this system I’m sure.

  • Richard says:

    GIGO is correct – and the most important service to the public is TRANSPARENCY.

    On a footnote – I do hope they make a better job of this system than the UK made of the one in the NHS. When it comes to Government sponsored computer systems – it’s not just Cyprus that can make a dog’s dinner of them. I’m usually the one saying “be afraid, be very afraid” (mainly as I worked in the technology industry and seen the ineptitude of implementation unfold first-hand).

  • @Peter – the processes involved in preparing a Title Deed in the UK are very different to the processes used in Cyprus.

    For example, once a Planning Authority has approved a Planning Application in the UK, it passes details to the Land Registry who then making a start on preparing a Title Deed. So by the time the property is delivered to the customer, 99%+ of the time, the Title Deed is available.

    As you say, printed Title Deeds are now a thing of the past in the UK (but I have a paper deed for a flat that we bought in the late 1990s before the system changed).

  • Peter says:

    What about the opportunity for ‘fackie lackie’ (little brown envelopes) Will this be built into the system?

    In the UK there is no need for paper title deeds any more everything is computerised. Instead of re-inventing the wheel why not just get the same system?

  • UBoat says:

    Great. On the face of it ,sounds really good for the future ?

    BUT is it like adding a 3rd goal to a football pitch and reshaping the playing surface? then still having the rule that the ball must be played end to end only ?

    I fear delay tactics again.

    More smoke and mirrors just to confuse every one with NO real solution to the problem of Title deeds.

    Ergo Efharisto

  • Gavin Jones says:

    Neoclis Sylikiotis, Interior Minister.

    Regrettably, too little too late. In addition, past record has shown that previous fanfares announcing upgrades to systems invariably never fully take place or else are offset by interminable delays.

    Your main priority should be the issuing of title deeds to all those who don’t have them and for all future property purchasers to automatically receive them on the day of sale completion.

    It’s obvious that you have no intention of doing either of the above. It would therefore be more prudent to cease insulting our and the EU’s intelligence with yet more declarations of intent which in reality will change nothing.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Off the peg solutions are already easily and widely available to the Cypriot Government, but the property mafia will probably not want anything to happen too quickly, so the tendering process is likely to be just another delaying tactic.

    It sounds like a step in the right direction, and let’s hope it is, but with any computerised system you have to remember GIGO (garbage in, garbage out!)

    Cypriot Civil Servants will probably have to input all the existing paper information into the system knowing that after this is achieved a lot of them will be out of a job.

    These are the same Civil Servants who currently take tens of years to issue a simple Title Deed.

    How long then will this take?

    If the Cypriot Government really wanted to get this system up and running quickly, as part of the tendering process, they should outsource the initial transfer / inputting of existing information / data to a company that will give them a contractual and finite time scale to input the data and also to provide training sign off to the Civil Servants who will be left to operate the new system when it goes live.

    (I hesitated using the terms that anything else would be like ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ because this may have opened up a whole new off-topic discussion!)

  • Jim says:

    I think he should concentrate his mind on more important matters, like overhauling the property transfer laws, to ensure a clear & valid title deed is available at point of purchase.

    Spending millions on speeding up non existent building permits, is hardly a priority. A five year old could easily cope with the current workload using a Biro.

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