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Customs seeks tighter controls

Published:Friday | June 1, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica Customs is moving swiftly to take steps to address weaknesses in a system which has led to the organisation recently losing some $40 million to fraud.

Commissioner of Customs Major Richard Reese, while speaking at the Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica forum yesterday at Hotel Four Seasons in St Andrew, said 12 new cashiers and supervisors were to take up duties on Monday, while additional internal controls which will result in better cash management are already in place.

"We have reviewed our procedure and we have also reviewed our level of supervision staffing and we will also be focusing on vetting," said Reese. "But all system reviews require very careful analysis and any new system that we will be introducing, or service, we will also have to ensure that we have the capacity to meet the demand to ensure the controls."

Reese said there would be a revised system in the cashier area, along with additional security measures which will be put in place to improve the internal controls.

In addition, he said there would also be an increase in the number of internal auditors to reduce the amount of asset loss and boost the investigative process in order to enhance the internal investigative capability.

Reese said physical upgrades of the customs department would take two to three months to be completed, given procurement processes.