Customs collector ‘soon come’

| 12/06/2015 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service

Kenneth Jefferson, Financial Secretary

(CNS): Government interviewed four local people for the post of collector of customs this week in what the financial secretary said was the sixth recruitment effort by the ministry to fill the critical post. The top job in a department that generates one of the main sources of revenue for government has been vacant for over three years, since Carlon Powery retired, but officials say a decision will be made before the end of this month. In this latest attempt to find a collector the 18 applicants were shortlisted to four Caymanians.

Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson told Finance Committee Thursday that one of those local candidate is an existing customs officer and another is a former employee of the department, while the other two are former civil servants who are now in the private sector. With interviews being held on Tuesday of this week, Jefferson said the ministry would be moving swiftly to make a decision before the end of this month.

The issue of succession planning in the civil service and the numerous vacant top positions, as well as the problems with suspended staff, especially in the uniformed services, for one reason or another, are creating problems for government stability and has featured heavily during the scrutiny of the budget this year.

The collector of customs, the fire chief, the chief officer in the education ministry, the director of the labour department, the superintendent of pensions and the port director are some of the key posts in government that are vacant, while the chief immigration officer remains on required leave, as do two members of the management team at the prison.

Currently acting as the collector of customs, Marlon Bodden, whose substantive post is to head up the enforcement arm of customs, also told members about the scrutiny and enforcement measures being undertaken. He explained how container scanning is used not only to detect smuggled contraband such as guns and drugs but that the officers can see where shipments don’t physically match the paperwork, improving fraud detection.

Bodden explained that officers also scrutinize documents and, with the help of intelligence and tip-offs, they are doing their best to clamp down on fraud where people are attempting to dodge paying the correct fees for their goods.

Cayman News Service

Marlon Bodden, Acting Collector of Customs

Denying that there was any discrimination when it came to paying duty, Bodden told Finance Committee that ‘politically exposed persons’ were charged just the same as anyone else for the goods they imported.

Talking about the ongoing saga for importers who are battling with the new harmonized tariff codes, the financial secretary said things were improving as people began to familiarize themselves with the system and the codes, and customs officers were available in the hall to directly assist those struggling with the paperwork. Jefferson said the department was “seeing a gradual but clear improvement in functioning of the system”.

The minster with responsibility for finance and economics, Marco Archer, currently chairing the Finance Committee hearings, said the ministry continues to offer training on the new system for importers. And while the new harmonized system consists of 5,000 codes, not everyone uses them all so the customs department has created booklets that cover specific industries to reduce the material importers need to go through to become familiar with the codes in their sector.

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Category: Customs, Government Finance, Politics

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Errr, does this mean Customs can’t collect until they get a new Collector??

  2. Imperial Tyranny says:

    Some of our Caymanians have a very common belief that if you victimize and try to destroy others it is the path to glory and long lasting leadership. Only to find out that by doing such terrible things not only are you just a pawn for those who encourage this wickedness but you will become both a slave and a victim of this very tyranny and evil. Those who shake hands with devil should first find out what he wants and don’t expect him to treat you with respect or carry out any of your demands.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It would surprise you who actually investigated the matter with Sheldon Brown that took him down and it certainly were none of the persons mentioned 2;24…that is a fact

  4. Anonymous says:

    I believe Mr. Bodden would make an excellent Collector of Customs, due to his leadership qualities and outstanding track record as the former head of RCIPS DTF.

    WOW !!

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps through a FOI request to the RCIPS; “true statistics” can be revealed whether Mr. Bodden was actually the top leader of the RCIPS DTF than say, Derek Haines, the late Greg Thompson and Shaun Ebanks.

      I think if the true answer is revealed whether by stats or by speaking directly with old members of the DTF, it would show the latter officers were the ones who made the significant impact on taking down criminals in the drug/gun running culture in the Cayman Islands, back then.

      I clearly recall on numerous occasions the media headlines read 4,000 – 5,000 pounds of Ganja seized in various Jamaican canoes and numerous criminals being charged and convicted. Also, kilos and kilos of cocaine seized, AK 47’s automatic rifles and numerous hand-guns seized and other illicit items taken of the street – left, right and centre.

      Wait a minute, wasn’t it Derek Haines, the late Greg Thompson, Shaun Ebanks and the old Crime Squad led by Malcolm Kay who actually took down Cayman notorious gang boss Sheldon Brown who received 27 years in prison by the current Chief Justice ?

      The conviction actually came about on the Scotsman watch and there was a big Hooraayyyyy in the RCIPS and the wider Caymanian public. But in reality, who actually did the arrest and the in depth investigation that resulted in the notorious gang boss being convicted in Grand Court; with all further appeals being dismissed ?

      Where is Sheldon Brown sitting at the moment ?

      Was in not Sheldon Brown who wrote a book while in prison called Caribbean Cartels where he made mention that Derek Haines and his deputies to include the late Greg Thompson, Shaun Ebanks and others; could not be corrupted now matter how hard the criminals tried and their police tactics always seemed to outsmart him and his chief lieutenants and others ?

      Bearing these facts in mind, the previous blogger may want to re-consier his/her advice and recommendation.

      • Anonymous says:

        Absolutely True !!

        You obviously know the facts and I’m glad that Alzheimers/Dementia or the newly discovered C.O.S. (Cayman Ostrich Syndrome) seemed to have not clouded everyone’s memory in the Cayman Islands.

        For everyone living in the Cayman Islands, remember this:

        Those amongst us who do us harm and case mayhem in our country, we should all get together and take them down by whatever means deemed necessary.

        Those who love us, we love you till death do us part.

        Those who mean us good we embrace you and your families for life.

        Those who mean us “Absolutely No Good” we should all get together do what the Honorable Robert Nester Marley said, “We chase them crazy bald heads out of the town”.

        • Anonymous says:

          You better figure out who means you more harm, the crazy bald-heads or those who grew up under crazy bald heads and hate them so want them out of the way and then they’ll do the same…….. check your friends Caymanians, not everyone who laughs and drinks with you are your friends

    • Cayman's Kamikaze says:

      You 8:56pm need your head examined either that or you are probably one of the disciples who helped dismantle the DTF and then attempted to discredit its leadership so they could run “Tings”. What some find even more despicable is they now are claiming credit for matters they had absolutely nothing to do with or could not be trusted with. These unfortunately appear to be the type of Caymanians they are installing in to leadership positions because it appears the powers that be like the tribalism and other nasty little attributes that justify their presence and employment in the OT’s. They knew farewell what the destruction of the DTF and its leadership would bring to these islands. Look around and see who greatly benefited from it and who got employment. The criminal element itself were amazed and delighted some even saddened at the rapid demise and viciousness of some in law enforcement’s top ranks. At least they knew exactly what side of the fence some were playing and they had absolutely no competitors in the criminal enterprise’s they run.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Very hard to recruit any locals with any brains as they are already taken by the private sector. What is left to choose from are those that below standard.
    Just like your police force soon all positions are going to be filled with people from third world countries that turn a blind eye for self gain

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes there is 2:23. Because of our stupid negotiators with the UK wanting to protect a born Caymanian, Ken Jefferson, it was written into the Constitution that “there shall be a Financial Secretary” even though there is no need for the role in the new governance arrangements. Ken’s salary could have been protected in all sorts of ways but not “his dignified title” so our “protect Caymanian civil servants at all costs” geniuses put something into our Constitution that forces us to have a person in a very highly paid position even though there is no job for him/her. Ah so it go.

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is no Financial Secretary anymore

    • Passionate says:

      Have we/our (LEADERS) done PROPER back ground or due diligence checks with former work places, other Agencies, older and honest locals former and current Law Enforcement colleagues and some expats depends on where they are from, they may owe a favour for them getting a job? One of the person that you would contact on Back Ground checks is in Charge of H.M.C. Intelligence Unit and NOW could be the TOP BOSS at Customs tomorrow (conflict of interest).

      Lets keep it up? The Cayman Islands is getting great international publicity. Who’s next? We’ll all soon have to eat from the garbage bins and dump when it hits.

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