The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG) launched its Discussion Paper No. 161 entitled “The Records Management System of Land Court in Papua New Guinea” today at the Lamana Hotel Port Moresby. The Discussion Paper was authored by Dr Theo Levantis (NRI Research Associate) and Thomas Wangi (NRI Research Fellow) and done under the Institute’s Property Sector Development Research Program. The launch of the Discussion Paper was done by Mark Selefkariu, Deputy Chief Magistrate, Land Court Division, Magisterial Services.

A well-functioning Land Court is necessary for overseeing the resolution of customary land disputes. The management of court records underpins the operation of Land Court. The primary aim of the report is to examine records management system of the Land Court and potential strategy to improve the current system.

It was found that the main weakness of the records management system at the Land Court is strongly linked to the decentralisation of records management to the provincial and district level. This contributes to the poor monitoring and evaluation of the system and makes it prone to a high degree of fragility.

Records management will improve if the system is redesigned in a way that makes it possible to be implemented within the confines of the budget and the system centralised. Electronic system should be embraced, which could assist the Land Court in centralising records and registries.

There would be no need to maintain any manual records in the districts or provinces other than information in the case files required by the magistrates. In addition, under a centralised system, effective monitoring and evaluation system could be set up at low cost.

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