Mrs. Velma Ricketts Walker who now sits at the helm of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), as CEO/Commissioner of Customs, effective Monday, April 10, 2017, has charged employees of the Agency to undertake their job functions at the highest level, in order that the JCA can realise its full potential and become a global leader in Customs administration.
Vision for Customs
In her inaugural message to staff, Mrs. Walker stated that she will “display objectivity, fairness, transparency and professionalism,” while remaining committed to the continued reform and modernisation of the JCA, which she said can become a model national agency and a global leader, emphasising that “it can be done, [and] it will be done.”
She further stated that the current perception that Customs administration is a hindrance to trade must be eliminated and that Jamaica Customs must embrace a “culture of trade facilitation,” underpinned by effective border management and revenue optimisation, as the Agency must assume the role of adding value to the logistics and supply chain process, as it seeks to meet the needs of its clients and stakeholders, in a timely and effective manner.
Raising the Bar in Customer Service Delivery
In her message, the new Commissioner also highlighted the importance for the Agency to maintain excellent customer service delivery at all points, and for employees to be “customer-centric, efficient and professional.”
She applauded employees for their commitment to the principles of hard work and dedication, while maintaining ethical standards and practices, even as she emphasised that “unprofessionalism, inefficiency, unethical conduct, and low productivity…will not be tolerated.” In this regard, she urged all employees to ensure that their work ethic and attitude, is in keeping with the vision of the Agency.
Not New to Customs
Mrs. Walker brings to bear, a wide scope of knowledge and skills in Customs Administration. She first entered the doors of Jamaica Customs as a Trainee in 1999. She rose through the ranks, and in 2011, she served as Assistant Commissioner, Compliance and Enforcement. She has over 17 years experience in Customs Administration, Trade Facilitation, Risk Analysis, Strategic Planning, International Trade, Security, Compliance and Enforcement.
Before returning as Commissioner, Mrs. Walker served at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as Revenue Administration Advisor, where she assisted regional Customs Administrations with the development and strengthening of their risk management programmes and organisational strategic reform. She is an IMF certified and trained Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) Assessor.