British Virgin Islands

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Wasted resources! Gov’t needs to centralise its technology strategy

Wasted resources! Gov’t needs to centralise its technology strategy

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has said he believes the government continues to develop scattered systems that contribute to state resources being wasted.
Penn, who was speaking at a recent sitting of the House of Assembly recently, said an example of this is the Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS).

CAPS provides for all trader declarations forms to Her Majesty’s Customs to be completed and submitted online.

“It’s a very good system of Customs but a lot of aspects of it is ill-conceived,” Penn argued. “We spent five-plus million dollars on the system. And that’s the last number that I got in terms of it [being] a running cost with CAPS.”

“Even when I fill out my information online to pick up my documentation from the port — any port — I still have to print what I put in to go to Customs to collect my product … That doesn’t make any sense,” he added.

The Opposition legislator said having an online system should mean customers only needing to present a transaction number as opposed to printed documents.

He also reasoned that there needs to be greater integration between the Ports Authority and the Customs in instances such as these.

“We have to be sure that there is a centralised approach in terms of overall technology strategy as a territory. We cannot allow entities, departments, and all these areas to do as they please.”
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