Customs boss plugging gaps to maximise revenue

| 31/03/2016 | 6 Comments
Cayman News Service

Charles Clifford, Cayman Islands Collector of Customs

(CNS): The collector of customs has revealed that there are challenges with the computer system at the customs department, which is not working as effectively as it could be. Charles Clifford explained that the system acquired by customs was not tailor-made and as a result there are shortcomings. But given the cash investment in the IT platform, he is doing his best to make it work and said it could be adjusted to meet the needs of his department.

Answering questions at the Public Accounts Committee last week, he said that his team was focusing on clamping down on duty evasion following a restructuring of the department to make it more efficient. He said the revenue collection unit, which now includes an experienced fraud investigator recruited to customs from the RCIPS, is now ensuring that risks in the system are addressed.

“It is an area where we want to bring greater focus,” he said. “I am not going to sit here and tell you there are not risks in the system, as there certainly are, but we want to plug as many of those holes as we can.”

Clifford said that from the very beginning his goal was to maximise the revenue collections and that it was more about plugging gaps than needing more resources.

He also explained to the committee how the department monitors the duty concessions given by Cabinet to developers to ensure that they are properly applied: When concessions are granted by Cabinet, a detailed list, including expiry dates and capped amounts, is sent to customs and officers enter the information into the IT system. So when the developer imports the relevant materials, it is measured against that and customs can therefore tell value of goods, the dutiable amount, the concession given and the actual duty paid.

He said that while his team is able to ensure duty concession are applied in accordance with agreements regarding the type of goods imported and the amounts, there was no way to verify if the materials imported are going to the development sites without inspections. To do that, he said, the department would require considerably more resources than are currently available.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow! First time the public is actually hearing from Chuckie since he became Collector of Customs but then again it was because the PAC had questions! Please tell us what changes or improvements have you made since appointed??? Not a whole lot from where I can see all you have to do is encounter the officers at the collection headquarters or the ones at the airport. While you’re a nice guy, we need a strong leader at the helm of our Customs department the last Chuckie was a nice guy too but look where that took them. We don’t need “yes” leaders or political lackeys at the head of our Customs, Police or Immigration departments. We need leaders to deal with the problems this island is facing and get crime & greed under control!

  2. Mr Wu Chan says:

    Whereas I applaud Mr. Clifford on his efforts to put HM Customs on stronger financial footing he needs to pay closer attention to those in amongst the brethren who’s nasty old habits yet once again have manifested themselves. Who’s ability to breed and influence discord and dissention in the organization has began, especially those disciples who’s are hiring and creating post to facilitate lodge recruits and church brothers and sisters. Careful Chuckie old boy one of Tempura’s shepherds of deception is working hard to reassemble yet another flock.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Real politician and yes man for now! better suited as the Commissioner of Police I agree.

  4. Anonymous says:

    we are looking for a local Commissioner of Police? This is the man right here!

  5. Anonymous says:

    So what has the monitoring of the Shetty Hospital concessions revealed?.

  6. Allar says:

    I am so happy to know that Chuckie is in charge of Customs, that is a man of character and a distinguish gentleman. Keep up the good works Chuckie

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