New Customs team

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Government has appointed a new Comptroller of Customs and two deputies who are veteran officers said to have extensive knowledge of its operations.

The comptrollers boast an impressive track record of service in various departments in Customs and multiple academic qualifications, including triple masters degrees and law degrees.

The new Comptroller is Owen Holder, with deputy comptrollers Sonea Jordan-Clarke and Cheryl-Ann Cumberbatch, whose appointments took effect on Sunday.

Holder, who joined HM Customs 40 years ago, has acted at various levels in the organization, according to a Government statement.

He was quoted in the statement as being honoured and humbled to have been given the opportunity to return to his country to serve as Comptroller of Customs.

He said: “I am duty-bound to quickly improve the level of service and commitment to trade facilitation and world-class standards.

The Government said Holder’s main task is to oversee implementation of the ASYCUDA World, an upgrade to the customs processing system. He was named its project manager five years ago.

He said: “A new organizational structure will be designed with the view of optimizing the use of the new system, and to adopt the best practices which have already proven to be successful in other Customs organizations in the region and beyond. There will be a major thrust to leverage computing technologies in our processes, thereby making more effective use of our human resource.”

Holder also promised a major thrust to advance trade facilitation, the process of easing the import and export of goods.

“Special attention will also be placed on the human resource component of the organization. I will be seeking to fill the outstanding vacancies in the department, make recommendations for acting positions when available, and use the training opportunities offered by international organizations to enhance the operational units within the department.

“I can say exciting things are ahead for the department. I am eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to advance the organization beyond its former state of glory within the region.”

A Customs officer for about 34 years, Holder provided Customs advice in various countries, including St. Vincent, Grenada, Jamaica, Guyana and Bonaire. He was a Customs Advisor with the United Nations, and Programme Manager for Customs operations in Jamaica.

The new comptroller has three Masters degrees – in Business Administration from the University of Surrey, International Revenue Administration and Customs Administration from the University of Canberra in Australia.

Deputy Comptroller Cumberbatch, who began as a temporary clerical officer in 1986, was promoted to Customs Officer II in September 2016. She has acted as Customs Officer I from June 2017.

Like Comptroller Holder, Deputy Comptroller Cumberbatch has three masters degrees – Business Administration from the University of Surrey, and International Revenue Administration and Customs Administration from the University of Canberra.

Deputy Comptroller Jordan-Clarke has also acted at various levels in the department since joining Customs as a clerk in 1981. She was promoted to Customs Officer I three years ago, acting as Assistant Comptroller of Customs from September 2014.

With a law degree from the University of Wolverhampton, Jordan-Clarke holds a Masters in Public Law from the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill Campus.
(BT/BGIS)

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