The Sri Lanka Survey Department (SLSD) under the Ministry of Tourism & Land acts as the National Surveying and Mapping agency of the government and is responsible for the standardization and production of all Surveying and Mapping activities in Sri Lanka. It is also responsible for the establishment of the national Cadaster under the Land Titling Program.
The national budget of the Sri Lanka allocates approximately about Rs. 2200 million annually for the activities of the SLSD. Ministry of Land and Land Development and the National Budget Department intervene improve the Surveying and Mapping activities because of the urgent needs in produce the quality of Geo/Land information which needs by the Planners, Administrators and Industrialists involved in decision making and contributing developing projects in the country.

Main functions of the Surveyor General as mentioned in the Survey Act No. 17 of 2002 as follows:

  • To regulate all land survey activities in Sri Lanka
  • To establish and administer the National Geodetic Control Network
  • To establish and administer a system of accreditation for registered surveyors seeking to conduct surveys under the Registration of Title Act No. 21 of 1998 and to maintain a register of the Surveyors issued with Certificates of Accreditation.
  • To establish and make available of calibration base lines for the survey bands and electronic distance measurement equipment to all Surveyors.
  • to receive, approve and maintain, cadastral surveying records to facilitate the production of cadastral survey plans and maps and to serve as a comprehensive base for integration of Land information.
  • to produce and maintain records of topographic, thematic and special purpose maps.
  • to be the principal authority responsible for receiving, storing and exchanging in any form all data for promoting the integration of surveying and mapping, geographically based information and land related information with LIS requirements.
  • to receive, store, reproduce and distribute, topographic, cadastral and derived maps, remote sensed data, aerial photographs and other survey and mapping documents.
  • to provide land surveying, land information and related services.
  • to receive, store, reproduce and distribute, topographic, cadastral and derived maps, remote sensed data, aerial photographs and other survey and mapping documents.
  • to authorize where appropriate the use or reproduction of survey and land information recorded by the Department and to levy a fee for the use or reproduction of such information.
  • to coordinate where necessary, with foreign agencies for the exchange of surveying, mapping and land information technology.
  • to render advice to any Government Department, Public Corporation or other Institution on Surveying, mapping and land information activities and related matters and to levy a fee from such corporation or such institution for the advice so rendered.
  • to conduct research activities as may be necessary in respect of matters relating to surveying and mapping.
  • to ensure the maintenance of high professional standards among persons engaged in land survey activities in the Department.

In order to carry out above functions and mandates, Survey Department employs a total workforce about 6000 personnel divided into about 50 designations. Out of them, field survey operations including Geodetic Control Surveys are carried out by approximately 800 surveyors supported by about 3500 Survey Field Assistants.

The field organization consists as follows:

  • Province Office:

    Provincial levels that master monitoring duties over on Districts Offices within the province. The main duty is to handling financial matters for field staff and monitoring all survey and mapping activities carried out by districts within the province. The Province Office headed by the Provincial Surveyor General.

  • District Office:

    Senior Superintendent of surveys is designated to carryout Supervising, Planning and monitoring functions of Divisional offices are carried out at the district level. The preparation and monitoring of the annual work plan is an important task assigned to the office. The number of Divisional Survey offices assigned to each District Office depends on priorities, duties and workload. On average 3 – 4, Divisional Offices situated within the district.

  • Divisional Survey Office:

    Divisional survey field office established in order to cover the two or three administrative Divisional Secretariat divisions. The field surveyors and survey field assistants were attached to this office and the technical and administration work of the staff being chargeable to the survey superintendent.