New ve­hi­cles to boost ef­fi­ciency at Cus­toms

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ro­mario.scott@glean­erjm.com

STATE MIN­IS­TER in the Min­istry of Fi­nance and the Pub­lic Ser­vice Rud­yard Spencer com­mis­sioned into oper­a­tion six new ve­hi­cles for the Ja­maica Cus­toms Agency to en­hance its ef­fec­tive­ness in car­ry­ing out its man­date.

The ve­hi­cles in­clude three Nis­san Fron­tier pur­chased at a cost of $4.4 mil­lion each, a Toy­ota Corolla ($3.485 mil­lion), a Mit­subishi 10-ton body truck with lift gate ($9.378 mil­lion), and a Toy­ota 30-seater Coaster bus ($10.2 mil­lion).

The com­mis­sion­ing of the ve­hi­cles has been seen not only as an in­vest­ment in the agency, but also as a crit­i­cal step in en­abling the work­ers to func­tion in a com­fort­able work en­vi­ron­ment while be­ing ef­fec­tive.

Ac­cord­ing to the agency, the Mit­subishi truck will be used to trans­port fur­ni­ture, equip­ment and ware­house goods, in­clud­ing seizures made by the Con­tra­band En­force­ment Team. The Nis­san ve­hi­cles will be used to pa­trol and in­spect con­tain­ers on the ports, while the bus and the Corolla ve­hi­cles will be used to trans­port staff and un­der­take gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion du­ties.

COM­MIS­SION­ING CER­E­MONY

At the com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mony, which took place at Cus­toms head­quar­ters in Kingston last Fri­day, Spencer said he was pleased about the level of work the agency has un­der­taken in or­der to en­sure that em­ploy­ees can carry out their func­tions.

“As a former trade union­ist, I am al­ways one to cham­pion the cause and rights of work­ers, for them to re­ceive the nec­es­sary re­sources, com­pen­sa­tion, and work fa­cil­i­ties which cater to their health and well-be­ing,” he told a gath­er­ing of cus­toms work­ers and stake­hold­ers of the func­tion.

“Some­times we tend to fo­cus mainly on re­sults and not on the process of get­ting those re­sults.”

He said he was well aware of the daily chal­lenges that civil ser­vants face as they func­tion in Com­mis­sioner of Cus­toms Ma­jor Richard Reese (left) and State Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Fi­nance and the Pub­lic Ser­vice Rud­yard Spencer (sec­ond left) look­ing at two of the new ve­hi­cles pur­chased by Ja­maica Cus­toms Agency, while oth­ers look on.

the work­place, but urged that the staff of Cus­toms ac­cept the ve­hi­cles as an in­cen­tive for giv­ing back a full day’s work.

Spencer lauded the agency for mak­ing the ef­fort to en­sure that the phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment and worker pro­duc­tiv­ity are en­hanced.

The min­is­ter heaped praises on Com­mis­sioner of Cus­toms Ma­jor Richard Reese, who he

said was in­stru­men­tal in the ef­fec­tive man­age­ment and de­vel­op­ment of the agency over the years.

“In ad­di­tion to en­sur­ing that the agency meet or sur­pass the rev­enue tar­gets set by the fi­nance min­istry, the com­mis­sioner has en­sured that the em­ploy­ees op­er­ate in a work en­vi­ron­ment that caters to their well-be­ing, thus al­low­ing them to per­form their

jobs more ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively,” Spencer said.

Reese told The Sun­day Gleaner that he was very pleased about the de­vel­op­ments in the agency. He echoed Spencer’s sen­ti­ment by say­ing that the agency’s staff will be more ef­fec­tive in car­ry­ing out their du­ties.

In the mean­time, Spencer said that it was clear to him that

Ja­maica Cus­toms was mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. He said other pub­lic-sec­tor en­ti­ties

Some­times we tend to fo­cus mainly on re­sults and not on the process of get­ting those re­sults.

should em­u­late the agency for an over­all bet­ter oper­a­tion of the Gov­ern­ment.

“Those who can af­ford it should. Those who can­not af­ford it should strive to reach there,” said Spencer.

While promis­ing to make a ful­some state­ment in Par­lia­ment soon, the state min­is­ter dis­closed that the Gov­ern­ment was far ad­vanced in mod­ernising core min­istries.

The agency also spent some $6.752 mil­lion on a can­teen, $11.061 mil­lion was spent on paving a 1,400-square me­tre area, and some $13.691 mil­lion was spent on the con­ver­sion of a con­tainer.

PHOTO BY RO­MARIO SCOTT

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