AG pledges to work to better services of Berbice Deeds Registry - during familiarisation visit
After serving 16 years as a temporary Legal Clerk at the Supreme Court Registry in Berbice, Petal Denny can now look forward to securing a permanent position at the entity, which provides critical services to not only the residents of Berbice, but the country as a whole.
Denny said that because of this temporary position, she is not entitled to any vacation leave or allowance, and no sick leave with pay. She noted that she has completed a number of courses and is currently pursuing her degree in Social Work at the University of Guyana.
This discovery was made on Friday, following a visit by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, who assured Denny that he will personally look into the matter.
Minister Williams was at the time on a familiarisation visit of the judicial system in Berbice. He met and interacted with the Berbice Bar Association, and the staff of the Sub Deeds Registry and the Supreme Court located on Esplanade Road, New Amsterdam.
There are three Deeds Registry in Guyana; the central Registry in Georgetown and two sub registries, one each in New Amsterdam, Berbice; and Suddie, Essequibo.
The purpose of the Deeds Registry is to efficiently administer the laws enacted by Parliament regarding land, whether by way of transport, land registration, leases, or mortgages, as well as those laws relating to trade marks, patents, copyrights, trade unions, companies, partnerships, business names, powers of attorney, contracts and other deeds.
Engine for business
The Deeds Registry is an engine for business in Guyana, Minister Williams noted, and urged the staff of the sub Registry to be steadfast and professional as they deliver quality service to not only the people of Berbice, but all of Guyana.
The Registrar of the sub registry in Berbice deals with conveyancing, land registration, registration of business names and charges, deeds and collection of revenue. However, the issue of company matters has to be dealt with at the Georgetown Registry, since the sub registry does not deal with such a matter.
These services are not only offered to Berbicians, but all other Guyanese, since the registry is a public office and everyone has access to its records.
“The services you provide are very important to the Guyanese people; in fact, very importantly they have to do with property, the documentation and the question of the wellbeing of the citizens,” he observed.
In keeping with the President’s quest to develop a professional public service, Minister Williams reiterated that while politicians come and go, public servants must remain professional, and must at all times be able to give proper advice in the interest of guiding the nation. “It is not a question of which Party is in Government…this thing is for the people and we believe that irrespective of which party is in Government, Guyanese people must be able to go about their lives in a normal way; and so you have a very important role to play, and I urge you to continue to work steadfast in this regard”
Bettering the service
Minister Williams highlighted one of the issues at the Registry in Georgetown, which is the long period of time it takes to process documents. The question of query is also another issue. The Minister urged them to establish a check list, and deal with them in a holistic, rather than in an isolated manner in order to further reduce the time.
According to the Assistant Registrar, Reza Manraj, the registry has been very prompt, in terms of providing excellent service time for conveyances. She said business registration is being done instantaneously.
Nevertheless, there is need for improvement and one of the steps currently being taken to better the service is the establishment of a vault which will be linked to a scanner to secure all records. This will discontinue the need to call the Georgetown or Essequibo Registries for any information.
Meanwhile, the Berbice Bar Association raised issues regarding the functioning of the land registry, and how effectively the registry delivers services to the lawyers. Minister Williams said the ministry will be treating with these issues urgently.
The Minister noted that there is need for an enhancement of the Registry, in terms of enabling them to deliver the service to the public within a reasonable time. He pledged to work with the registry to ensure better services are offered to citizens. END