TAJ Opens Training Centre in Montego Bay

Photo: Marlon Tingling Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris (centre), cuts the ribbon to officially open the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) training centre in Montego Bay, on January 20. Others (from left) are: Deputy Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Pamella Folkes and Commissioner General of the TAJ, Ainsley Powell.

Story Highlights

  • Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), today (January 20), opened its Western Training Centre in Bay West Shopping Centre, in Montego Bay.
  • Declaring the facility opened, Commissioner General at the TAJ, Ainsley Powell, said the training centre will be utilized not only to provide useful information for the TAJ employees, but also to members of the public.
  • Also speaking at the opening ceremony was Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, who welcomed the facility, which he said brings added value to the growing importance and attractiveness of Montego Bay as the economic centre of the Caribbean.

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), today  (January 20),  opened its Western Training Centre in Bay West Shopping Centre, in Montego Bay.

The centre will cater to the training needs of TAJ employees and other agencies, including the Customs Department, and will also be available for rental to members of the public for the staging of similar sessions.

Declaring the facility opened, Commissioner General at the TAJ, Ainsley Powell, said the training centre will be utilized not only to provide useful information for the TAJ employees, but also to members of the public.

He added that having a training centre in Montego Bay will reduce the costs associated with the training of TAJ employees, who will no longer have to travel to Kingston for that purpose.

“The cost of training has always been a big part of our cost structure and training has always been a critical part of TAJ’s strategy in maintaining a learning organization status. We always have to move persons from this side of the island to Kingston, which is very costly. We felt that if we had a centre here, sufficiently equipped, then it would be easier to bring trainers to the region and conduct training,” Mr. Powell said.

He pointed out that with the facility now available, the TAJ will be undertaking a major customer service training programme, which is aimed at improving service delivery at all its offices.

“What we are also hoping to do is to continue to improve on our customer service focus and by doing that, tax payer education is a very big part of that. Last year we did nearly 6,000 different types of training programme, but sometimes location becomes a problem and this is going to act as a dual centre – in house training and training for the public,” the Commissioner General said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Pamella Folkes, said the training centre is a welcome addition to the TAJ, as the empowering of employees and members of the public is a major plank of the agency’s forward thrust.

“Training is very important. There is an old saying that says ‘you cannot do today’s work with yesterday’s tools’, and that is because today’s work requires additional work, hence the long awaited opening of the training centre. There is much to be learned from what will take place inside…and when we look at what we have been doing in tax administration over the last 3, 4 and  5 years, you will see that the revenues have picked up,” Ms. Folkes noted.

She added that legislative changes have been made to a number of tax-related Acts since 2013 and the TAJ’s decision to open a training facility in Montego Bay is aimed at offering training to all stakeholders on these and other matters.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony was Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, who welcomed the facility, which he said brings added value to the growing importance and attractiveness of Montego Bay as the economic centre of the Caribbean.

Funding for the establishment of the training centre was provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the facility is equipped with a 70-seat training room, administrative offices, a small conference room, audio-visual equipment, a pantry and sanitary conveniences.

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