Background

The restitution process identifies property taken or confiscated illegally outside known promulgations. EPA has been mandated to see cases of restitution by proclamation no. 110/1995 and the amendment proclamation no. 193/2000. The agency's powers and duties were defined under article 4 of proclamation no. 110/1995. It has been empowered to "investigate and decide on claims of ownership" in relation to "property taken in violation of appropriate proclamations."

The Restitution Department of the EPA handles cases related to restitution. It is the arm of the organization to execute mandates given to the agency. Cases of property taken against appropriate laws are directed to this department for registration and investigation. The department finally gives its decision on the cases approved by the General Manager. Generally, the following procedures are followed by the department in arriving at its final conclusion.
 

   Receiving and registering cases
   Collecting evidence to substantiate the cases
   Investigating the claims based on the relevant laws
   Presenting its recommendations regarding the claims to the General Manager
Overseen by a department manager who is accountable to the General Manager of the Ethiopian Privatization Agency, the Restitution department handles various applications submitted by the public regarding property illegally taken by the Government and mass organizations.

The Restitution Process
The process of restitution involves a thorough investigation of the legitimacy of property claims once they are made. All pieces of information relevant to the confiscation of property are collected so as to obtain the necessary evidence from the Government, from Private institutions, and from individual witnesses.
Upon establishment of the fact that a piece of property was indeed illegally taken, the appropriate mechanism of returning the property to its rightful owners is studied. Among the various tasks involved in the restitution of confiscated property are the following :
   Determining the status of property at the time of confiscation and its current status and comparing the variations
   Facilitating the circumstances for the speedy return of property, upon which a decision has been reached, to the original owners and, if necessary, preparing contract documents for the return of property and seeing to it that the handover is carried out in accordance with the agreement in the contracts.
   Deciding on how to address claims of property the locations or buildings of which have been put to use or earmarked for Government or social service purposes.
   Compilation of statistical data on property returned to former owners.
 
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