The following is the speech by the Land Registrar, Mr Kim Salkeld, at the 9th Anniversary Reception of the Land Registry Trading Fund today (August 1):
Mr Suen, Honoured Guests,
Thank you all very much in coming here today to join us in celebrating the 9th Anniversary of the Land Registry Trading Fund.
The Land Registry has completed its ninth year of operation as a trading fund - and its 160th year of service to Hong Kong - in fine form. Financially we are healthy. As an organization we are fit. Important legislation has been passed and, with the signing of the IRIS contract we have set off firmly along the path towards a fundamental transformation of our organization and service quality over the next 18 months.
I have enjoyed the last year greatly. It is a pleasure to work with a team of people who are committed to giving good service to Hong Kong, who are eager to learn, who are eager to improve themselves and their organization in order to give better service. I thank all of them for their ideas, support and enthusiasm over the year.
I would also like to thank the Legislative Council for its support for our legislation; all our private sector partners for your comments and assistance over the year; and, all our partners in Government for the help that you give us. Accomplishing our goal of giving this city the very best in quality of land registration services depends as much on the quality of our relationships with our partners as it does on the endeavours and quality of our staff. We are committed to building relationships based on respect, openness and trust. I look forward to strengthening those relationships with you in the year ahead.
There is much for us to do together. We need your involvement in the detailed design and development of our integrated registration information system, IRIS, and in the planning for our internal reorganization and new office layouts in order to ensure that we can give you the services you need in the most user friendly and efficient manner. Details of the IRIS contract were announced last week. Work under the contract begins next Monday. The display panels give you more information about the project and I, my colleagues from the Land Registry and our partners from CTIL are on hand to tell you more.
On the legislative front we will bring through provisions for removal of old stopped deeds under the Land Registration Ordinance as quickly as possible. And, above all, we need to carry through the major reform of land registration practice that will be made possible by the Land Titles Bill.
Hong Kong has been well served by deeds registration over the past 160 years. Over the next 160 years Hong Kong will be much better served by title registration.
To help keep us on the right track during all these changes to technology, organization and legislation, we have over the last year reviewed the vision, mission and values of the Land Registry. Again I want to thank all staff and partners who have contributed to that review. Today we have published our new vision and mission statement. I hope you will take time to look at it and, in the months and years ahead, help us to live up to it.
Our vision is simple : to be the best in all that we do. That's a very immodest statement for a small public sector organization to make. We don't make it on the assumption that we are already there, or even nearly there. It is an aspirational challenge to me, to each member of the department and to the team as a whole. It will push all of us, every day, to learn and to try out ways of doing better, giving better service to this great city.
Today, over half the families in Hong Kong and very many companies benefit from the security that land registration provides for their property - usually without realizing it. Over HK$1,000 billion is loaned against the security of registered property. We respond to tens of thousands of requests for information from solicitors, banks, estate agents, auditors, private citizens and Government departments each week.
Every day we try to do two things: first, to deepen the trust that you have in us; and second, to improve the value of our services to you.
That is the objective that has guided us and will lead us through the coming year.
I look forward to welcoming you again next year for the 10th anniversary of our trading fund but now would like to invite our guest of honour, the Honourable Michael Suen, Secretary for Housing Planning and Lands, to say a few words to us.
End/Thursday, August 1, 2002