Commissioner of Customs, Major Richard Reese, says the department has been making every effort to provide quality customer service to its clients.
He said that measures have been put in place to enhance efficiency and service delivery. Major Reese, who was addressing a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, said he was particularly pleased at the speed with which queries and concerns are addressed.
“I have worked with a number of private and public sector entities and I am very impressed with the speed with which these issues are resolved,” he stated.
He told JIS News that some of the complaints were as a result of persons not being familiar with the provisions of the Customs Act. “But whatever solutions can be found, the staff are very committed to that and there is a centralized system of monitoring complaints,” he noted.
He referred to the quick response team that comprises a group of technocrats, who will respond to Customs queries within a 24-hour time frame. The team can be contacted via the email address email@example.com and personnel are constant alert for email queries.
However, Major Reese said that most of the complaints received do not relate to Customs. “It might relate to a shipping agency, it might relate to a port operator, or it might relate to some other agency, but persons generally refer to issues in clearing items as an issue with Customs,” he noted.
Citing a recent case of congestion at a port, where persons were trying to clear their barrels, he noted that the blame was directed at Customs when, in fact, the port operator had been overwhelmed by the large number of customers.
The Customs Department is one of the many entities vying for cash and trophies in the Public Sector Customer Service Competition, under the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Office of the Cabinet. The deadline for the receipt of all nominations and submissions is February 28 at 4:00 p.m. All organisations of government are eligible to enter the competition.
Customs is competing for the Best Customer Service Entity. The winner for this category will be determined by votes received from members of the public. Competitors in this category must have a citizen’s charter, a complaints mechanism in place and best practices implemented to improve services.
Additionally, regular and systematic feedback should be sought from customers and systems in place to provide customers choice of access to services.
Employees from Customs are also eligible for consideration in the Best Customer Service Officer category. Decision on the winner will be based on feedback from customers and nominations received from colleagues within the entity.