Prime Minister engages Customs Staff

Friday, March 28, 2014 4:38 PM- St. George's, Grenada
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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, March 28, 2014 – GIS:
“The role of the Customs and Excise Division is most critical to Grenada, in terms of tourism, investment and, at this time, the success of the Home Grown Programme.” Those were the words of the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Energy on Tuesday, March 26th, as he met with the Management and staff of the Customs Division. This encounter was the latest in his schedule of interactions with staff of the Ministry of Finance and Energy.

Prime Minister Mitchell updated the Customs Division on the implementation of the Home Grown Programme and highlighted the critical role of the Division with respect to revenue generation. He encouraged them to be always mindful that they are providing a service, and not a favour, to the general public. He emphasized that honesty and integrity are key facets of this service. Moreover, he said workers should not be intimidated by anyone in the performance of their duties – which should be carried out in accordance with the law while being courteous and consistent. PM Mitchell stressed the need for workers to apply the law across the board and assured them of Government’s support in that regard.

Dr. Mitchell also reminded the Customs staff that they are one of the first points of contact with visitors, potential investors and returning nationals and that they must be mindful of the image they portray since it reflects the image of Grenada and can influence the decisions of persons, particularly investors and visitors.

The Prime Minister, speaking on work in the Public Service, explained that it is his conviction that Public Officers must be rotated as part of their learning experience in the Public Service. No one, he said, should be of the perception that they are hired to work in one position for a lifetime. Rotation allows one to enhance personal development by being exposed to a variety of experiences and also helps to “prevent good persons from going bad.” This practice of rotation, he explained, must be part of his legacy.

The staff discussed various aspects of their operations with the Prime Minister, such as challenges, and made suggestions for improving operations including reform of the 1960 Customs Act, training and other support.

A similar session was held with Management and staff of the Inland Revenue Division (IRD) on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014. At that session, the Prime Minister took the time to listen to the challenges of the staff, in particular the Bailiffs. He assured them that Government will do all in its power to have the necessary laws amended so that they can execute their duties more effectively.

Attending the interactive session at Customs with the Prime Minister were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Energy, the Comptroller of Customs and other Senior Government Officials.






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