LITTLE BAY – The Customs Division of the Montserrat Customs and Revenue Service (MCRS) has been conducting its annual week-long in-house training programme.
The training began on July 13 and ends on Saturday July 18th, 2015. Acting Director General Peter W. A. White said the course would normally take place during the summer months and is generally geared to refresh staff, expose staff to new procedures and also to cross train staff to work in other areas within the Division.
“This year’s training programme was coordinated by Deputy Comptroller of Customs Mr Derrick Lee. Once again this year’s sessions for the most part have been taking place in the evenings as it is very difficult to get all customs staff together during the work day without having to close the stations at the Port, the airport and the post office for this purpose. Closing the stations for two or three hours a day for a week would certainly interrupt Government of Montserrat (GoM) revenue collection, people clearing goods and parcels and would have disrupted trade in general which would have a negative effect. The sessions were well attended by all staff and we appreciate that they all gave of their personal time in the evening to attend work related training and this is something we don’t take for granted,” noted White.
This year the training was focused on a number of key areas:
i. Monday 13th Customer service- the evening session was done by Ms Annmarie Dewar
ii. Tuesday 14th Work Ethics- conducted by Professor Sir Howard Fergus
iii. Wednesday 15th – Writing and presenting witness statements presented by Inspector Albert Williams
iv. Thursday 16th – Boarding and searching (Rummaging) of ships of all kind with officers from the Police Marine Branch
v. Friday Morning and afternoon 17th – Practical exercise – Boarding and searching
vi. Friday evening – Practical exercise to take place in a mock court-
vii. Saturday –practical exercise in Boarding and searching (rummaging) continuation
Also attending the training sessions were selected staff from the Inland Revenue Division evidence and members for the Integrated Border Security Unit.
The resource person for the Boarding Searching (Rummaging) component of the training was done By Mr Brian Mills from St Kitts Customs assisted by specific officers from the Montserrat Customs.
White expressed thanks on behalf of the agency to: Training Division of HMRU, St Kitts & Nevis , Customs, Hon. David Osborne for allowing Customs officers to conduct searching training on his vessel; All the presenters, RMPS for use of their boat to access ships on the water.