The I Taukei Land Trust Board says native land records are safe, in the wake of a fire that engulfed part of its headquarters in Suva on Sunday, March 25, 2018.
The fire on Level 2 of the TLTB building broke out in the late evening though firefighters from the National Fire Authority managed to contain it and prevent its spread to other parts of the premises, located along Victoria Parade in the capital city’s central business district.
The TLTB administrates all Native land, which makes up over 90 per cent of Fiji’s total land mass and despite widespread concern on social media regarding the state of land records and documents of indigenous landowning units, TLTB General Manager, Tevita Kuruvakadua said negative information and comments were incorrect.
“Although police forensic investigation is underway, all we can say now is that all landowners’ land information, trust funds and investment records are safe,” he confirmed, quelling speculation that hard copies of land records and landowner’s information were destroyed.
The TLTB has also confirmed that the fire began from an electrical fault at the counter service area of Level 1.
“None of our key records, whether they are stored digitally in our IT servicer of physically in the office, were affected. That was why we continued as normal on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 for the safety of our staff and to allow the Police and NFA to conduct their investigation and assessment,” Kuruvakadua added.
The TLTB has closed office for a day on March 26, following the fire on the previous evening.
“But in any case, our records are properly backed up at an off-site location in Tamavua to support our business continuity plan.”
The TLTB’s cashier and landowner’s registration team have been relocated to the ground floor, where tenants can make rent payments and have landowner’s registered.
Services for landowners, tenants and all stakeholders continue as usual, the TLTB added.
The general manager said the building and all contents were fully insured, though the assessment to determine the value of damage is still underway.
Police are investigating the inferno.