KAMPALA – Arrangements have been finalized for the government to enact a law that would regulate property valuation as a stop-gap measure to mitigate conflicts.
Government officials say that contradictory assessments determined by both private and public valuers are the major cause of delay of government development projects in the country.
The Chief Government Valuer, Gilbert Kermundu revealed that there is no single law to establish the office of Chief government valuer and to provide for management and administration of all valuation-related activities where the government has an interest.
“The absence of a specific law establishing the office of CGV coupled with the long term effects of neglect valuation has led to uncertainty in land valuations, speculative/ exorbitant compensation claims by project affected persons, reduction of taxable revenue and non-taxable revenue to national treasury, delays in implementation of government projects among others,” he said.
The principal government valuer said that the problems have led to instances of conflicting assessments on similar property making it difficult for the government to harmonise.
He said that conflicting assessments are due to lack of specific standard valuation regulations and guidelines to follow by both government and private valuers.
Mr Kermundu said that the newly proposed law seeks to regulate the operation of public and private valuers in the execution of their work in the country.
He said that the country did not have a law establishing regulating valuation which resulted into conflicting valuation reports on same property.
Kermundu made the remarks at a consultative meeting for the presentation of the draft Valuation Bill 2019.
The Ministry of lands proposed the Valuation Bill 2019 to provide for national valuation standards that should act as a guide for valuers in implementing their mandates.
The Permanent Secretary in the Lands Ministry Ms Docus Okalany said that any delay in implementation of government projects have negatively impacted on government expenditure in form of delayed service delivery, increased cost of investment as well as increased interest rates paid on borrowed funds to undertake infrastructure projects.
She added that government valuers experience situations where property owners and persons having interest in or rights over property object to compensation awarded by the Chief Government Valuer (CGV) claiming that the awards are inadequate.
“As a ministry, we have issues with some of you private valuers, who are compromised when doing your work. We have had incidences where property valued by two valuers; that is government valuer and private valuers for the property. We ask ourselves, even if the valuation is an opinion but two divergent values which are really to the extreme ends, the something must be done,” she said.
Ms Okalany said the proposed law shall help the country in addressing challenges regarding divergent values given on the same property.
She also revealed that the delay in the amendment of the Land Acquisition exposes the government to legal and technical challenges in the implementation of infrastructure projects resulting from inconsistencies in the policy related to land acquisition and compensation.
However, private valuers said that the proposed law should not only look at government interests but the profession as a whole.