Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries



Access to Land Records

Informal Resolution | 29 October 2020
Lands & Survey Department (L&S)

An applicant submitted a request for land records related to a specific block and parcel. The applicant was informed that the request did not fall under the FOI Law, and that the requested information could be obtained at the public counter of the L&S for a fee. The applicant was not satisfied and requested an internal review, but none was conducted. The applicant then appealed (late) to the Ombudsman. After giving the L&S a chance to provide its views in writing, the Ombudsman decided to accept the late appeal, as allowed in the FOI Law.

During our investigation, we asked the L&S to clarify their initial decision. The L&S explained that some of the requested records were available for a fee at the public counter in the Government Administrative Building. Other records were claimed not to be held, and access to claim files relating to the specific parcel was categorically denied in a letter from the Registrar. Some additional records were located and disclosed to the applicant. We conducted a meeting with the parties on Zoom, resulting in additional clarifications for the applicant. 

As a result of the Ombudsman’s decision in a parallel appeal (in Hearing 81), in which another claim file was ordered to be released, the L&S disclosed the requested claim files to the applicant.