​​​​ISO 9001:2008 in the Department of Lands and Surveys​

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The Department of Lands and Surveys (DLS) has participated in the co-financed project of the Public Administration and Personnel Department (PAPD) called "Reorganizing and Enhancing the Administrative Capacity of Public Service Departments", with a duration of seven years (from October 2008 until May 2015), the main objectives of which were to strengthen the administrative capacity of the departments involved, improve the services offered and enhance their internal functioning.

In the context of this project, the Department participated in the study "Performance Comparison, simplification of procedures, modernization / codification of the institutional framework and preparation of the Department for the implementation of  ISO ". The study carried out by an external evaluator, which was the "PWC", lasted two years, from October 2012 to October 2014.

Main Activities:

  • Setting up working groups in the Central and the District and Land Offices, for the purpose of recording the existing situation and procedures followed in the branches of the  Department "AS -IS".
  • Codifying the institutional framework of DLS and making proposals for its modernization.
  • Making suggestions for improvement / redesign / simplification of existing procedures by the contractor company, "TO-BE", taking into account best practices adopted by other countries, through the implementation of the benchmarking methodology.
  • Preparing the DLS for the implementation of ISO 9001: 2008 (last stage of the study)

Preparation of the DLS  for the implementation of  ISO 9001: 2008:

  • Designating the Quality Team – it comprises the  Administration Representative and the Assistant Administration Representative and the other members who were designated by the Senior Land Officers and the District Land Officers and represent the Department's branches and the District Land Offices, with specific duties and responsibilities. In collaboration with the Director of the Department they should ensure the continuous operation of the Quality Management System in accordance with the requirements of the standard.
  • Training the quality team and stakeholders to conduct internal audits and become acquainted with the system and its requirements.
  • Codifying all documents and forms of the Department, standardizing and codifying
  •  all procedures, having as a result the creation of Operation Manuals (one for each function / branch of the department).
  • Creating a Quality Manual which has been distributed to all the staff of the Department.
  • Conducting internal audits for many of the procedures of the Department throughout the island.
  • Taking corrective actions where it was shown that there were deviations (problematic procedures) and spotting and correcting "non-conformities", according to the instructions of the standard.
  • Setting performance targets and quality indicators.
  • Measuring Citizen Satisfaction (questionnaires).

Subsequently, after all the above were successfully completed, according to the time-lines  of the co-funded project  of the PAPD,  work started on the "ISO 9001: 2008 Uniform Quality Management Systems Certification" , having the Cyprus Certification Company as the contractor company, which was of four months' duration  and was completed early in June 2015.

During this project, the contractor company initially collected the required information in relation to the requirements of the standard, with visits to the Department and discussions with the quality team. Then, it proceeded to its first conclusions / findings on the state of the existing Quality System that had been created in the DLS. After the first stage was successfully completed, i.e. without problems in the documentation of the System as it was built, it was followed by a third party external audit by the Cyprus Certification Company. During the external audit, the basic procedures of the Quality Management System were evaluated, the procedures based on the operation manuals of the branches, both in the Central and the District Land Offices, were audited, and the results of the internal audits and the management review, as well as the audit of the quality objectives and the results of citizen satisfaction survey were evaluated. The result of this project was the successful certification of the DLS with the ISO 9001: 2008 certification, without any serious observations or non-conformities.

The above certification constitutes recognition that the Department of Lands and Surveys, has the ability to operate on the basis of documented procedures and applies the relevant legal and regulatory requirements to meet the demands both of the Department itself and of the citizens. Quality will contribute to the more effective functioning of the Department, to the consolidation of a citizen- oriented culture, to the improvement of the level of services offered and to the increase of the degree of customer satisfaction.