The importance of reducing intermediaries in the management Registry - Cadastre

In my recent presentation of the Seminar on Advances in the Multi-Land Cadastre in Latin America, held in Bogotá, I focused on emphasizing the importance of placing the citizen at the center of the benefits of modernization processes. He mentioned the process approach in the integration of the Cadastre - Registry management, emphasizing that the review of procedures is an obligatory step to reduce activities, steps, requirements or tasks that do not add value, which are a consequence of the limitations that we have had and that who suffers them is the end user.

A modernization process is broader than an automation process. More important than designing a system or a cadastral sweep method, a strategy to improve procedures must be promoted with an optics of efficiency in citizen services in at least time, costs, quality, data management and traceability.

In the case of this article, I want to refer to the number of intermediaries that there are in a registry management, and how this affects the indicators of attractiveness for investment in a country.

1. More intermediaries = more procedures = more requirements = more time = more cost.

Promoting a process of modernization of registry management should consider the entire process chain, not for the benefit of the institution but of the citizen. From our institutional perspective, we will always think of a new review, a new cross-control, a new requirement, as aspects that we believe add value, and although we think about reducing times, we will not necessarily think about global times and the improvement of conditions for the actors that They are outside the institution but who intervene with the user, such as the surveyor, notary, bank or municipality.

A valuable example of the aspiration to which the Integrated Cadastre Management Model - Registry of a country in Central America which I have been invited to accompany, points out, its challenges include:

  • The lack of access to registration information by the notary forces the citizen to obtain a registration certificate.
  • The dispersion of a cadastre in three different institutions, with a physical reality, a tax reality and a fiscal reality, and that impacts the citizen because it must go to each of these places for a solvency, for a payment or in the worst of the cases for an inspection.
  • The difficulty of an effective rectorship of the accredited surveyors, which implies doubting their measurement and going to inspection in more than 5o% of cases.
  • The lack of a close access to the citizen, which allows a filing (presentation) without having to go to a physical office that is only in the departmental headquarters.
  • The good intention of helping the municipalities in their collection, but that requires obtaining a tax solvency to be able to make a registration. With the complexities that this entails, since between the time it processes requirements, the validity of that solvency may expire.

This makes the citizen have to go: to the Property Registry, the notary, the surveyor, the Fiscal Cadastre, the Municipal Cadastre, the Physical Cadastre and always at the end with all the requirements to the Property Registry. This interaction is at least twice, in the case that the required thing is delivered in the first attempt, that there is no need to correct any discordant data, that does not require a proof of border area and of course, with several sessions at least with the notary that in a way benefits from this complexity.

A modernization process must include the improvement of the management model for the citizen. If not, it is just automation of vices.

In this country, little did that in the Registry decrease the registration time from 30 to 22 days, if the time in Cadastre is 10 days the approval of a plan + 15 days a certificate + 25 if there is an inspection: and if there is three cadastres in between; multiply it. So, if this country I am referring to achieves (because if they insist with discipline, they will achieve it) in the short term materialize the aspiration of simplifying that chain, with a unique number of procedures, as we agreed, surely you will have to go see it not only to enjoy the taste of the güirilas and the gallo pinto, which are a luxury.

I give another example, in the case of South America, where I am now looking at the issue of processes, in which there is only one version of the Land Registry, but where an urban curator and a Planning department intervene. Added to this problem, Cadastre is at the end of the chain, even after the change that includes graphic modification has been registered, and in most cases it does not even know the alert that it could receive from the curator, of a new building. This makes the citizen go through: Property Registry for the freedom of encumbrances, notary, surveyor, curator, Municipality, Property Registry for registration and Cadastre; with the risk that a year after having made the sale, they will call you from the Land Registry, who need to take the map of the surveyor, since the information does not coincide with their cadastral base.

The citizen is more important than the procedure.

Many of these steps and controls seem to be good from the institutional side. But from the citizen's side, they are time, cost, duplication of requirements, discord of information, finally low indicators of competitiveness for the country.

Even so, the potential of what this safe banana country aspires will be an example worth coming to see. Ah, because here also the paisa tray or the gratin patacón are a show that those notorious series that Netflix launches do not have.

2. Fewer intermediaries = greater incentive for the real estate market = increased registration culture.

Reducing intermediaries in the transactional chain Registry - Cadastre cannot be done from the perspective of the institutions, individually. This is not a task for cadastral technicians, not even for registrars, since a generality of them will adhere to custom, procedure or even the law. Do not even include computer scientists who will be happy to use terms like #AI # 4IR #IoT #BigData #DeepLearning #DigitalTwin. These changes (note that I am only talking about intermediaries) occupy an industrial engineering perspective and political will for decisions in favor of the development of a nation; with the sensitivity of the citizen who suffers from the bureaucracy, and a lot of common sense for the good practices that have worked both in the American context and in countries that have already overcome that feeling that the more complex the more "cool", without ruling out a small group of people who are always in institutions, who have highly developed common sense and are just waiting for the opportunity to apply simplification ideas that have not been echoed -although for it has to come a gray hair to reinforce what had already been thought-.

It's like the famous phrase of one of my mentors on the other side of the pond:  Big projects does not need engineers, but business guys.

Everything is in the approach to the citizen, looking for what adds value. Before, buying a minute recharge for mobile telephony or paying the bill was a protocol in the agency; today you can buy it at the supermarket checkout or online. Because for them it is not a business to charge, but to dedicate themselves to the service of innovation in communication. Before each telephone had its own poles, cables, data centers, now they outsource that because their business is not civil engineering, not even computer science.

Many of the things that state institutions do can be outsourced, because they do not add value, or because someone else can do it better. For example, the filing (reception), which can be carried out by an actor close to the citizen who must necessarily go to, such as the surveyor, the notary, the municipality, the bank, or it could be created by the citizen himself. Deconcentrating unprofitable work for the State can even help it to focus on regulating operators and streamline work of greater value for the citizen such as qualification and registration. Homologation of qualification criteria and simplification of templates can lead to the implementation of automatable inference engines, so that the risk of mistakes from whoever is the procedure is reduced, to the qualification funnel; almost as a registration certificate does now that 40 years ago we believed could only be "reasoned and written in verse" but that now we see no inconvenience that it is a result issued by the system in tabular form.

And see that we are not even talking about smart contracts or open notaries. We are talking about a decrease in intermediaries.

Many tasks can be accomplished in fewer steps, if you think about the citizen. Example, multiple payments, which in the end always go to the same state and that technologically can be partitioned even if they are charged at a single point.

The state has no money; has our money. The State exists to give a better service to the citizen, not to control the will between the parties in lawful acts. Decision-makers must focus their efforts on the essence of public service.

The citizen learns more in the taxi on the way from the Catastro headquarters to the Registry office, than from the theoretical advice of the ISO gurus.

It's great that now I make a single line, to make the quote, pay with my card and the presentation, instead of the three lines that I used to do between the appraiser, the bank and the receiver. Now I don't even pay an agent because I know that time will adjust.

I have three rejections in this process. Each time a different analyst rates it for me.

I am not interested in the signature of the Director of Cadastre, with a stamp that says it was issued by the institution and a way to check if it is faithful.

I do not understand that list of requirements that they published. I always have to pay the notary to explain them to me and the manager to review them for me.

I do not know how to get this requirement out if they pick it up at the window and throw it in the trash.

3. How many steps can a registry management be reduced to.

To reinforce that it is possible to simplify, without losing control, I will use the indicators «doing business»October of 2018, of the number of steps involved in doing a registry management, and I will focus on the countries of America and Europe as points of comparison.  See that the methodology used by doing business calls it "procedures", because I can have only two intermediaries as actors, but if I have to go through them three times, it will surely be six procedures; since it did not happen for the same reasons. And while some of these indicators are taken from specific and contextual services to major cities, they are a comparative starting point to think about where we want or can go.

Countries with more bureaucracy in terms of intermediaries of a registry management:

Country rank Intermediaries
Brazil 137 14
Nicaragua 155 9
Venezuela 138 9
Uruguay 115 9
Jamaica 131 8
Ecuador 75 8
Mexico 103 8
Bolivia 148 7
Argentina 119 7
Guatemala 86 7
Panama 81 7
Colombia 59 7

The table above shows the countries with the most intermediaries, ranging from 7 to 14. Brazil has the extreme, with up to 14.

Leaving out Brazil, among the worst cases of complication for the citizen in procedure for these purposes are Uruguay, Venezuela and Nicaragua with 9 steps.

Mexico has 8 intermediaries.

Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, Argentina and Bolivia have 7 intermediaries.

The first column is a ranking of registry efficiency, which, apart from intermediaries, considers quality aspects of land administration, times and the cost relationship with respect to the value of the object in transaction. This ranking, the lower the better; Thus, the best ranked in this group are Ecuador, which having 8 intermediaries has a ranking of 75, as well as Colombia with a ranking of 59 with 7 intermediaries. Even so, they are ranking with many challenges, above 50; Bolivia and Nicaragua have the furthest from an attractive efficiency for the citizen.

Countries with a moderate level of intermediaries.

Country rank Intermediaries
Honduras 95 6
Dominican Republic 77 6
Paraguay 74 6
El Salvador 73 6
Chile 61 6
Spain 58 6
Haiti 181 5
Costa Rica 47 5
Peru 45 5
Canada 34 5

The table above shows the countries with intermediaries from 5 to 6.

See here the rest of Latin America.

Here is also Spain, which is in 6 intermediaries and it can be clearly seen that beyond reducing procedures, the cost, time and quality of cadastral information also influences, as are the cases of Canada with a ranking below 40, and Peru and Costa Rica with a ranking below 50. Haiti is also extreme, although it only has 5 intermediaries, it has a ranking of 181.

Undoubtedly the development indices are somewhat relative, especially due to the human factor since they are impacted by political patronage, lack of public service careers and little emphasis on improving efficiency indicators. Let's not say because of the gap in the lack of registration culture.

Countries with optimal intermediaries in the registry chain.

Country rank Intermediaries
United States 38 4
Italy 23 4
Switzerland 16 4
Russia 12 4
Finland 28 3
Denmark 11 3
Portugal 36 1
Norway 13 1
Sweden 10 1
Georgia 4 1

This is the other extreme. See, as the countries with the fewest intermediaries are below 40 in the ranking of competitiveness in registry efficiency. At least 4 include the possibility of doing all the steps before a single registry authority; it is practically a self-service before a reliable registry.

Denmark and Finland have 3 intermediaries, with rankings of 11 and 28 respectively.

Russia, Switzerland, Italy and the United States have 4 intermediaries. By the way, the United States is the only country in America within this group.


I close the article with this, to remember that my opinions do not necessarily bring them from birth, as sometimes my daughter makes me feel.

One noon at 11:30 in the afternoon, on the slopes of the Cordillera de Montecillos, hungry and with that GPS backpack chipping the jets of sweat from my back, I was trying to explain to an owner the value of the new measurement that we were doing. After giving up using UTM words, differential correction, satellite constellation, WGS84, digital format and other words that I thought would convince the owner of the farm, I said:

The most important value of this new measurement is that your neighbor can not be put in the limit of your property.

He took out a machete that reached his waist and said:

Look engineer, this is the guarantee that is valid for me.

Then he invited me to eat some fresh tortillas with chopped egg and beans, and recommended the way to go up to the next farm.

The essence of what adds value is not known by those of us from the process design side. The citizen knows it and we must not stop asking him.

The essence of the public servant is to contribute to the development of the country, making life easier for the citizen.

2 Replies to "The importance of reducing intermediaries in Registry - Cadastre management"

  1. Greetings Bernard. I think that CNR's most interesting decisions are to have focused on a scope and Registry-Cadastre integration, rather than "multifinalitarian" aspirations that may come as a result of simplifying processes and integrating actors. A hug.

  2. The very good paper communicated in the Geofumadas site of the Seminar on Advances of the Multifarian Cadastre in Latin America, held in Bogotá, emphasizes the importance of reducing the intermediaries in the Registry - Cadastre management.
    It is true that reducing the intermediaries in the Registry - Cadastre management is essential for the benefit of the citizen and, consequently, the country.
    Among the benefits already mentioned in the aforementioned paper, we can emphasize the reduction of defects, costs and corruption, as well as the increase in the nation's resources due to the increase in the rates linked to transactions. an economic dynamism.
    It is obvious that the topic entails two complementary aspects:
    1) Simplification involves the elimination of useless bureaucratic steps within an administration and between different administrations involved in the Cadastre Registry management. I had the opportunity to recently analyze a case of necessary validation of the lotifications for the land registry, with the mapping of the processes it has been proven that the number of stages from 45 to 10 could be reduced. For the registration of each of the properties, the possible simplification was also significant, eliminating comings and goings, controlling the chain of technical and legal stages by automated systems, using bar codes or better, the new blockchain technology with a broader scope. of security.

    2) The Registry - Cadastre integration is essential to guarantee that the beneficiary has legal certainty over their spatially delimited property (another issue is the adequate precision of the surveys). The Cadastre Registry link may have various degrees of integration within the same institutional organization such as the National Registry Center in El Salvador or between different Institutions. The important thing is to guarantee, automate and maintain the univocal link between the law and the real estate, allowing agile transactions without defects.
    However, directly relating registration competitiveness with the number of procedures based on doing business surveys seems complicated since the situations and procedures can be quite different between countries or between regions of a country (in addition, most of the countries mentioned in the doing business survey does not have a complete and / or homogeneous cadastre system - registered). It would be worthwhile to deepen or document this research and, if possible, with a multi-temporal aspect. It will be necessary to see which are the indicators used and the weighting between them. The levels of claims, challenges, legal actions associated with the degree of transactions and access to real estate credit constitute, for example, significant elements.
    Whatever the conclusions and needs are, one should not lose sight of the fact that the political decision is decisive in order to reduce the intermediate ones because they will often have to face strong resistance to changes in established practices.

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