HM Customs and Excise is to have a new Comptroller and two deputies in place in a matter of weeks, ministers have agreed.
But the over 130 Customs Officers who have been acting in their position for several years will have to wait a while longer before they are appointed.
Minister of Finance Ryan Straughn revealed that Prime Minister Mia Mottley has approved the appointment of a new Comptroller of Customs and two deputies following a recent recommendation by the protective services commission.
He declined to name the individuals.
Straughn also disclosed that Government is to hire a “long-term customs expert” to provide ongoing training and support to the department as Government continues its upgrade of that agency.
Annette Weeks has been the acting Comptroller of Customs since 2013.
Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing at Government Headquarters on Thursday, Straughn complained that Customs officers had gone through a level of “trauma” over the years during failed attempts to merge the department with the Barbados Revenue Authority.
“There will be an ongoing process with respect to recruitment and rebuilding and expanding the skill sets of the Customs officers to be able to deliver a better service to the public of Barbados while making sure that the national security objectives are maintained and the revenue base of the country is protected, and at the same time being able to better facilitate business and get Barbados growing,” He told journalists.
But Prime Minister Mottley said that while the outstanding appointment of Customs officers was a part of the overall process they would have to wait a while longer.
Her administration, with support of the labour unions, had created a new post called Customs Officer IV, for more than 138 customs officers who were acting in the positions, she noted.
Mottley said: “There were people, who for 20 and 22 years have been wearing a Customs uniform and were called a clerical officer and could not get appointed because they were not even in an established Customs officer clothes.
“They are effectively acting in it, but the process of appointment as you know takes time because it is an administrative process.
“But we expect all of that to be handled expeditiously because there is no case of them not being appointed because they have been in the position for years.” [email protected]