PHILIPSBURG—Upon invitation of the Minister of VROMI, the Honorable Mr. William Marlin, on March 19th 2013 the Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin met with the Minister, to discuss the findings and recommendations of her report regarding the operations at the Cadaster & Mortgage Registry (“Stichting Kadaster & Hypotheekwezen”). Present at the meeting were also: Ms. P. Philips, Secretary General and the Legal Advisor of Bureau Ombudsman, Mr. M. Hart, and the Legal Advisor to the Minister, Mr. Alex Schoormans van Houten.
In December 2010 the Ombudsman started an investigation (on her own initiative) as a result of concerns about two excerpts about a property registered at the Cadaster widely discussed by the public. When the preliminary findings of the investigation communicated to the Supervisory Board of the Foundation Cadaster & Mortgage Registry yielded no action from the Supervisory Board, the Ombudsman continued the investigation, resulting in a report with recommendations to the Minister of VROMI, to whom the Supervisory Board is obligated to give account pursuant to the law.
The issues signaled and addressed by the Ombudsman, were among others: the manner in which the registration and control of the public registry at the Cadaster is being maintained; the link between the application system “Kadsys” and the registration of information in the Public Registers as provided for by law, lack of clarity whether the system meets the requirements stated in article 3:16 of the Civil Code and the National Ordinance Public Registers; lack of cooperation by the Cadaster to provide documents outlining work procedures and control mechanism of its operations; the application of the regulations of the Corporate Governance Code.
The Minister was requested to inform the Ombudsman what measures are taken in the interest of the citizens to ensure that Cadaster carries out its tasks given by law accurately, and the control thereof is guaranteed. Further, the Ombudsman recommends that an investigation is carried out as soon as possible on the fairness of the tariffs and reimbursement system of the Cadaster. Finally the Minister was recommended to initiate actions to fill any “gaps” in the law regarding the Public Registers.
It was established that a delay in the follow up on this matter has been partly the result of parties involved not being fully aware of the scope of authority of the Ombudsman, which is a new institution provided for in the Constitution, as well as legal advice being delayed on the report.
The outcome of the discussions is that the Minister will inform the Ombudsman within two (2) weeks in writing, what his position and conclusions are with regard to the recommendations provided in the Cadaster Report.