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Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 21, 2018 (SKNIS): Senior Management at the St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Department, a department tasked with managing the security and integrity of the country’s borders, issued a clarion call for staff members to perform their duties at the highest level, as the entity is in strong support of the advancement of all workers through training, especially junior officers.


One such initiative of promoting advancement is the recently concluded 12thAnnual Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council’s (CCLEC) Junior Officers Basic Training Course, which saw twenty-eight Junior Officers – 26 from the St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Department and two (2) from Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department of Montserrat participate in eight weeks of intense training. 


Dianne Henderson-Phipps, Senior Customs Officer Grade IV, stated that the training of officers is important not just to the department but to the country on a whole, as this will enable officers to carry out the responsibility of the organization which is to protect the country from potential risks arising from international trade and travel, while facilitating the legitimate movement of people and goods across borders.


“The senior management of the Customs and Excise Department has always envisioned the development and empowerment of our junior officers as paramount,” she said, while referencing the CCLEC Training Course as an example. “The principle objectives of this undertaking were to impart Customs knowledge through information and to create a learning environment that demonstrates techniques, which will enable our junior officers to improve their ability to handle challenges in practical Customs situations.”


Speaking specifically about the recent training of junior officers, Kennedy De Silva, Acting Comptroller of Customs, said that as with any other training a lot of financial and human resources were made available to the trainees over the last eight weeks. He added that a foundation was laid for the trainees to become better law enforcement officers.


“…management expects to see a return on its investments. Actually, we are demanding. So starting next week, I expect to see some real drive coming out of the respective stations in which you will be assigned. I expect to see more questioning of the rules and not just the blind complacency. I expect a higher detection of threats and better facilitation of legitimate trade,” stated the comptroller.


The Customs and Excise Department continues to ensure that its vision statement is upheld, as part of it speaks about advancement. The statement reads: “we envision becoming a leading organization through our core values, being flexible to change, embracing new innovations and concepts and investing in our most essential resource through continual training and staff development. We will implement strategies to promote public outreach and achieve business results.” 

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