Ombudsman takes Kadaster-issue to Parliament

Philipsburg, June 12, 2014 – In protecting the rights of the citizens and the integrity of the Constitution, the Ombudsman turned to Parliament regarding the continued disrespect for the laws of the Land by Kadaster as she drafted a Final Report after investigating yet another complaint against Kadaster. In an effort to draw attention to the continued disrespect of the Foundation Kadaster and Mortgages for a High Council of State, the Ombudsman addressed Parliament as the representative of the people and the highest oversight authority of the country.

Authority Challenged

Since the first investigation into actions of Kadaster, a private entity with public authority, the Ombudsman met with contempt. The Foundation Kadaster and Mortgages charged with the execution of vital government tasks, continues to  challenge the authority of the Ombudsman to investigate its organization. Although the Ombudsman called on the Minister in care of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure, responsible for  the organization of the pertinent departments and executing organizations, the Kadaster remains defiant even after the politically responsible Minister instructed the Kadaster to act in accordance with the law. However, no tangible change is observed in compliance with the laws of the Land by Kadaster. The Ombudsman said “that an apparent difference or error in the law upon transfer of the Kadaster Ordinance after 10-10-10 may not be used by government to justify not executing its authority to hold private entities, which are executing government tasks, accountable for their actions.” Despite the individual Ministerial responsibilities, the law provides ample opportunities for cooperation between Ministries to prevent citizens to be in limbo regarding their rights and neglect of proper services by private government entities.

The Ombudsman said: “Having a monopoly regarding land registry and service to the public when it comes to official information pertaining to real estate and land, it is of utmost importance that the administrative body, charged with these tasks, follows the law closely. Any breach of the law, or impropriety pertaining to handling the people’s affairs, or adverse communication with citizens, will result in loss of trust in such a vital institution.”

Ombudsman to Address Parliament

Since the Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure has not been able to convince the Kadaster of its legal position and its role as a private entity with public authority, the Ombudsman is compelled to address Parliament as a result of  talks earlier this year with the Director and Supervisory Board of the Foundation Kadaster and Mortgages, and recent reaction of the Director dated May 23, 2014 pertaining to a Final Report drafted by the Ombudsman after investigation of complaints filed by a citizen with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman has requested Parliament as the representative of the people to use its authority provided by the Constitution, to look into this matter in order to safeguard and protect the interest and patrimony of the citizens.

Ombudsman’s Obligation

The Ombudsman took this action in accordance with its obligation to listen, investigate and call government to act on the concerns of the people, whether as a result of complaints submitted by citizens or on its own initiative. The Ombudsman is charged with investigating how citizens are treated by administrative bodies. The investigative authority of the Ombudsman is not limited to the Departments within a Ministry, but also applies to  private entities, charged with public authority such as Kadaster.

Ombudsman takes Kadaster-issue to Parliament

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