6.1.1. Introduction and aims of the project
The Ministry of Agriculture is currently implementing a comprehensive modernisation programme of the Land Registration Sector, largely financed by the EU PHARE programme, but including components funded from other sources. From the Phare Programme itself, from the very beginning up to now - March 1992 - April 1997 - almost 15 million ECU has been allocated and mostly spent for the implementation of the project “Computerisation of Land Offices. (Financial programmes as follows: 1990: 3,3 million ECU, 1991: 3,7, 1993: 3,6 and 1995:4,0, with the financial support of corresponding size by the Hungarian Government.)

The Ministry identified the computerisation of the land offices as a priority and formulated an initial conceptual plan within the Ministry (Department of Lands and Mapping) which was to be subsequently elaborated. This was formally adopted as the EU PHARE Computerisation of Land Offices Project in March 1992, and a Technical Assistance Team and a Ministry of Agriculture Project Manager appointed. The conceptual plan of the Ministry called for the progressive computerisation of the legal and administrative records (Property Sheets) and Cadastral Maps, with initial priority to be given to the text based land registration records. The original plan was purely concerned with the technical aspects of supporting the computerisation. However, the demands of supporting the economic transition, the enactment of the compensation programme, the privatisation and the increasing reliance upon geographic information by other organisations have required the Ministry to develop a more comprehensive plan for the Land Registration Sector. The Development Plan for the Land Registration Sector called for the following activities:

The creation of the Land Compensation programme
This has been achieved through the passing of the required legislation, the creation of Compensation Offices and the involvement of the District and County Land Offices. It has been managed locally and funded by the Hungarian Government through the Ministry of Agriculture. Two million new property units have been created and are awaiting entry into the Land Register. This information is available in digital form.

The provision of systems for property sheet management at the District Land Offices
PHARE has provided first a total of 2.96 million ECU for the provision of PC based LAN database management systems at the District Land Offices throughout the country. This was procured in two stages during 1992 and 1993.
By April 1997, all of the page one (property description) and 98% of the page two and three (ownership and financial) data have been loaded in the district land offices, excepted Budapest. These systems are functioning with a Hungarian developed software which uses a nonstandard DBMS tool (Dataflex). In May 1997 the loading of all the property sheet data will be completed in the 115 rural district land offices.

The provision of systems for management and updating of cadastral maps, the assimilation of the compensation data and their integration with the property sheet records at the District Land Offices
PHARE has budgeted a total of 4.35 million ECU for the provision of systems to support the digitising of the cadastral maps, the loading of the compensation data, and the integration with the property sheet records at the District Land Offices. The Ministry has installed cabling systems within the land offices; the earlier PC based LAN systems will be incorporated into the new unified system and the result will be a single integrated environment supporting the required workflow management, and the management of all control point records, survey records, property sheet management and basic cadastral map management, as well as a unified application registration system.
This procurement was the subject of the so called TAKAROS (National Computerisation of the Map-based Cadastre) Tender. It started in July 1996, the winner (ICL Hungary Consortium) delivered hardware to all 115 district land offices and the software development is going on through autumn 1996/spring 1997.The pre-acceptance tests, preceding the software installation all over the country are under way with the involvement of the modul representatives from the two selected pilot counties, Csongrád and Heves. The module representatives represent the internal users - employees of land offices - and are also acting in the interest of future external end users, clients. Electronic direct access to all property sheet data at any district land office is due in November 1997.

The provision of systems for providing land information management at the County Land Offices
The County Land offices are to be developed as regional information centres providing technical and administrative support to the District land Offices, but also supporting new products and services, involving the supply and update of structured data sets, the incorporation and supply of thematic data, agricultural reporting units (NUTS), agrostatistics, land use and land protection.
The design work for the User Requirements is ongoing, and the Invitation to Tender will be issued during 1997, based on the achievements of the TAKAROS sub-project in function by that time.

Support for associated technical, legal, and institutional issues
This includes such issues as data standards (content, transfer method, updating); ownership and copyright, product development and marketing, cost recovery, valuation and the Title industry, institutional reform, and development of a Management Information System for the Land Office network. Work here is ongoing, and is largely composed of consultancy and technical assistance.

Computerisation of the Budapest Land Offices
Due to the scale of the land registration problem in Budapest, the development of a backlog in processing land registration applications of 400,000, and the explosion in the conveyancing activity in Budapest, this is being treated as a separate project. The Ministry of Agriculture has moved the offices to a purposefully renovated building, installed a high performance network and introduced temporary IT systems to help reduce the backlog. A PHARE Tender for 500,000 ECU has been issued to provide a property sheet management system and full workflow management.

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