Customs Officials Recognised For Dedicated Service

Seventy-two customs officials, four of whom have given more than 40 years of dedicated and honest service to the Customs Department, were recognised on Thursday (Jan. 29) at a ceremony at King’s House.
Chief among the awardees was BT Davis, who joined the department 57 years ago, in March 1944. According to his citation, Mr. Davis never missed a day at work, “was always punctual, eloquent in speech and unwavering in the performance of his duties”.
Also cited was Jean McIntosh, who began her career in the Collector General’s Department at the Collector of Customs office in Montego Bay in 1962. She was described as an “outspoken individual and a wonderful team player who strives for excellence at all times”.Jack DeLisser, described as scholarly and a methodical public administrator, started in 1963 and rose to become Deputy Commissioner of Customs.
Similarly, Alison Moore, who started in 1963 rose to become Commissioner of Customs, the first female to hold that post. She was cited for her “exemplary work ethics, dedication and commitment to tasks” which have been a beacon especially as she spearheaded the customs modernisation process”.
Ms. Moore, in her welcome to visitors at the ceremony, said the last two years of the customs reform and modernisation programme had been very difficult for workers, who were often called upon to perform their duties under difficult, challenging and at times dangerous circumstances.
She urged the awardees to continue to be good role models, especially for younger customs officers who recently joined the department.
The same plea was made by Guest Speaker, Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies, who urged older officers not to regard new recruits as rivals. “View them as youngsters who you need to impart the benefits of your years of experience. Do not view them as rivals and lock them out. There are too many of us oldsters who see youngsters, or the new recruits, simply as rivals so we lock them out, we don’t teach them anything because we believe this will bring about our own demise. Do not take that approach,” he said.
Dr. Davies also admonished them to be fair, firm and courteous in doing their job and to continue to carry it out with high levels of integrity.
He noted that Customs represented one of the principal sources of revenue for the country. In the last five years, he said, collections were just under 30 per cent of the total taxes collected on international trade. And for last year, in just eight months, April to December, customs collected 26.5 per cent more than what was collected over the corresponding period in 2002.

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