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Corruption dogs Land Redistribution Department

The Land Redistribution Department is rife with corruption while being totally ineffective as it appears that some cases have been pending 20 years according to Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides and Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides.

The two men appeared before the House Watchdog Committee on Thursday to analyse the Auditor General’s 2015 audit report.

“The Land Redistribution Department is still working on 20-year-old cases and will require another 20 years to complete, said Petrides to the House Watchdog Committee adding that the political decision for the Land Registry Department to assimilate the Land Redistribution Department has been taken.

Petrides also stated that the temporary planning incentives introduced following the economic crisis would take on a permanent characteristic as their implementation had been wholly beneficial.

Michaelides said that the Department was filled with scandals.

“There are situations where state land – up to 50% in some of the redistribution plans – belonged to private individuals who benefitted economically,” said Michaelides adding that many cases are now under criminal investigation by the Legal Services.

Michaelides also noted problems in the translation of certificates and public records stating that the translations were being undertaken privately and certified by the state without the translations being checked to see if they are correct.

With regards to the translations, Petrides said that a bill was being prepared for the recruitment certified translators who will be held legally responsible for their translations.

Michaelides also called for reform in the local councils citing many illegalities observed in communities.

“It is difficult for the local authorities to be aware of all the laws and regulation and many times they don’t realise that they are managing public finances,” said Michaelides

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