Customs officers have an indispensible role to serve the public

Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) – Customs officers including those performing supervisory and management roles have been urged to embrace a proactive role in setting and achieving organizational objectives.

Acting Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Georid Belle also urged officers to discuss the plans of their individual units and work assiduously to produce for the benefit of all in St. Kitts and Nevis and beyond.

“The aphorism ‘failure to plan is a plan to fail’ continues to evade many aspiring and would-be great leaders. As a result, piecemeal implementation of ideas and incompatible blend of programmes and policies often lead to loss of focus,” said Mr. Belle in the July/September issue of LANCE – the Customs newsletter.

He is of the view that as Customs and Excise looks towards achieving the vision of becoming a leading organization both in the Federation and in the Caribbean region, it is imperative that it is understood that as a department individual and collective responsibilities are integral to success.

“The bedrock of our obligations as revenue collectors, border security agents, trade facilitators and compliance experts is the service we give to our customers. Customer service quality assurance guarantees the continued approval of traders and other trade sector stakeholders. In its simplest form, our raison d’être (reason for being) is to serve with distinction,” said Mr. Belle in the column Pen of the Comptroller.

Pointing out that top and middle managers of the department met recently in retreat to review performance over the six months and to recalibrate efforts for the second half of 2014, Mr. Belle said “efforts for this year include reducing entry processing times and improving reporting mechanisms to enhance performance measurements.”

“The department has drafted policies on the valuation of goods, on pre-clearance procedures and on customer service. Each policy document will be finalized shortly and will be published on the department’s website for public consumption and their ongoing assistance,” said Mr. Belle, pointing out that it is important that all officers become aware of their role in the vision of the organization on an ongoing basis.

“It is not enough to plan the work; more importantly we must work the plan. We need to execute our 2014 work plan with understanding that our efforts will be measured by personal commitment and group cohesion. Each of us, from Comptroller of Customs to junior officer, has an indispensible role that strategically places the department in the best position to serve the public and to achieve all clearly set goals,” said Comptroller of Customs Belle.

He said he looks forward to the successful completion of the 2014 work plan that will guarantee improvements in the entry processing operations, revenue support services, enforcement, risk management and post import audits.

“Individually, these initiatives can and will reap great dividends for the department but, believe me, there are far greater benefits that we can achieve when we work together. It is only through our combined strategic efforts that we will maximize our results,” said Mr. Belle.

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