AG hopes countrywide availability of Official Gazette can reduce fraudulent possession of properties

The Attorney General Chambers is working to have copies of the Official Gazette sold at Local Authorities and retail outlets countrywide. Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall in a recent interview stated that one of the pressing issues which can be addressed through this venture is the fraudulent sale of properties belonging to other persons.

“If people are being able to read and consult the gazette, they will be able to see if their properties are being advertised, etc,” he noted.

Recently, several persons –mostly overseas-based Guyanese –have raised concerns about the sale of their house and land by con-artists unknowing to them.

In his most weekly blog –Conversation Tree – Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran wrote about the theft of immovable property in which he explained that persons are forging the name of property owners on powers of attorneys giving the forger the power to sell the properties. Another he noted scam involved the application by neighbours and others for a declaration of ownership by way of prescriptive title of the properties, particularly vacant land, of persons who had migrated.

The Official Gazette includes several Notices for declaration of title which gives persons one month from the date of the first publication to object and file a notice of his/her opposition along with affidavits in support of said objection.

Currently the document is only sold at the Office of the President which is given 300 copies.

But the AG noted that “the Office of the President cannot continue to be the only place where the Official Gazette can be accessible. The Office of the President is not accessible to all members of the public. The aura and the environment that surrounds the Office of the President is one that can be intimidating to the ordinary people.”

He added that “there is no good reason why therefore the Official Gazette cannot be accessible at different locations across the country.”

Nandlall proposed that the document can be available at the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs), Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs), stores and shops.

He said efforts are also being made to ensure the Official Gazette with its wealth of information is posted on social media and other Government agencies websites.

The once-weekly publication includes important public notices, changes to the Laws of Guyana along with Constitution and Statutory appointments.