By now every motorist should have the little amber registration sticker on their rear licence plates as required by the Barbados Licensing Authority.
They were originally given until the end of September to have done so.
Then, following a mad rush on the deadline date, Prime Minister Mia Mottley set a new deadline of early November.
Judging from recent comments made by Carolyn Williams-Gayle, the Barbados Revenue Authority’s (BRA) public relations manager, the majority of vehicle owners appear to have complied. On the last day of October, she reported that there had been no late rush at any of BRA’s branches to secure the registration stickers.
No doubt there will be those who will still be caught running afoul of the law, despite being given an extended period to get their affairs in order.
While the process has often been painstaking with long lines at breakfast, lunch and tea-time, still we credit the Government for its willingness to improve efficiency among its departments.
The new stickers will now make it easier and quicker for law enforcement to recognize if a vehicle is insured and registered.
A police officer no longer has to take several minutes inspecting the disc which used to be mounted on the windshield or ask for insurance documentation, since insurance is required for a vehicle to carry the sticker.
From car registration, our attention turns to the myriad issues encountered by Customs and Excise in its recent upgrade from ASYCUDA ++ to ASYCUDA World customs clearance software.
Businesses and members of the public alike have complained about shipments being held up in the air and seaports and customs brokers have highlighted issues in trying to log into the system.
And while the implementation and installation of ASYCUDA World have not gone as smoothly, the move once again signals Government’s intention to make it easier to do business in Barbados.
In the latest Ease of Doing Business Report 2019, Barbados was ranked a languid 129th out of 190 countries.
And Barbados was one of the few countries still using the outdated ASYCUDA ++ system which was in dire need of an upgrade.
Once all of the kinks are ironed out with the new system, efficiency in the movement of cargo is expected to improve significantly, resulting in shorter waiting periods and less frustration for staff and customers alike.
One supposes there is always a price to pay for progress but progress must actually follow.
Yet we marvel at critics who clamour for improvements but are seldom willing to make the sacrifice.
We complain about a road in dire need of repairs, but once work starts on that road we express dissatisfaction about how dusty our homes and businesses have become the long lines of traffic snaking through the area, or the length of travel delays.
Again, we stress, this not to say that Government cannot improve the way it delivers public services.
Both the Licensing Authority and BRA could have done much better in rolling out their respective initiatives, managing expectations and communicating to the public.
For example, it is utterly ridiculous for motorists to use their lunch hour to get their stickers, only to be told by employees at BRA that the officer who dispenses the stickers is out to lunch and that they would have to return later.
We suggest it is also ludicrous that the BRA did not carry out a test run of ASYCUDA World before fully installing it.
This decision has proven costly for some businesses which end up losing thousands of dollars in stock after it was left languishing at the Port.
While it is not expected that all initiatives rolled out will be perfect, we should not expect that Barbadians and visitors alike are made to waste their time or money while Government implements important changes.