June 26, 2015
Junior Customs officers urged to raise standards

Junior Customs officers have been called on to raise their standards while carrying out their duties.

Yesterday, 16 officers graduated from the Junior Customs Officers Promotion Course, at a brief ceremony at the Customs and Excise training room.

The group had been engaged in training over {{more}}a 10-week period and completed a number of tests and group work that contributed to their final grade.

In her remarks at the ceremony, chief personnel officer Corinne Gonsalves congratulated participants on arriving at the end of the course. She expressed hope that they all put in the necessary effort to ensure that a passing grade is the end result.

“This training was primarily for you, for your development, for you to be able to do your work better, to perform at a higher standard, to show what you are made of and as a result of that, the other things may come; promotion and whatever else. Then it is for the organization. If officers are well trained, they receive that training and put that training into practice, the organization will benefit. Those are two things that I hope will come out of this training you’ve gone through,” she said.

The chief personnel officer opined that if they were to carry out their duties in such a manner, other persons will be affected and eventually, a domino effect will be seen in the public service.

Minister of Labour Maxwell Charles echoed Gonsalves sentiments and encouraged participants to raise the bar, stating that their senior officers should not be able to look down on them.

“You are what I would call the face of St Vincent and the Grenadines. If a foreigner meets you first or second, they should have a very good impression of St Vincent,” the minister said.

“How do you balance? This course, I know, should have helped you. Courteous, kind and loving, but yet holding the standards high and endeavouring at all times to protect our boarders from harm and danger.”

Featured speaker and comptroller of customs Grenville John stated that Customs is seen worldwide as a unique agency amongst general government agencies, due to their interaction with international trade and travel.

The comptroller, who noted that Customs departments were required to follow international practices and the agreed instruments, also highlighted some of the steps and innovations that have taken place in St Vincent and the Grenadines to ensure that the department is functioning efficiently in accordance to these codes and practices.

“…My advice to you is to strive always to be the best that you can be. Be professionals. Perform your duties without fear or favour; be true to yourselves and let your conscience be your guide. Set high standards for yourself. In the end, it is the goal of reaching your own high standards that will take you to success,” John said.

John told participants that they were the future of the Customs and Excise department and stated that the real success of the course would only be measured throughout their career by the type of Customs officers that they become.

He also thanked the facilitators and the training officers and unit for the work that they put in over the 10-week period.

The officers who participated in this course were Aleisha Knights, Andrez Prescod, Avette Burnette, Chrissa Porter Preddie, Dalana Horne, Jamal Gibson, Jason Glynn, Jason Shortte, Kenson Stoddard, Lorenzo Barbour, Monica McLean, Shamlan Hackshow, Sheldeen Edwards, Sherryann Pope, Tatium John and Yasmin Richards.