SI-Customs collected $1.08 billion in revenue

Solomon Islands Customs Comptroller, Jim Sutton during the Business-After-5 presentation

The Solomon Islands Customs has collected more than $1billion dollar in the past 6 months, despite the alleged corruption issues going on within the organization, currently under review.

This is a 9 percent increase from its targeted revenue collection for 2019.

SI-Customs comptroller Jim Sutton revealed this during a Business_After-5 program, held at the Heritage Park Hotel, last Friday.

Mr. Sutton said the organization is currently understaffed and his office is also currently reviewing the entire organization.

“We ended up the year with $1.08 billion dollars, which exceeded our target by 9 percent. The Customs at the moment is badly understaffed, which makes things very difficult. Now we are developing a blueprint for the Custom’s modernization, which is currently with the ministry’s
Permanent Secretary.”

He assured the country, despite challenges his office is facing, they are currently addressing corruption issues at the customs environment where a good number of underperforming staff will, and some have received their marching orders.

“Because the government is not in a good position with the fiscal flow at the moment, partly due to global downturn which is a huge challenge, we are trying our best to reach this year’s revenue target.
We are also dealing with corruption issues within the organization.
My focus now is to clean up within the organization first.”

He added, there are individuals or business people coming through customs back door, for dirty deals where his officers must not bow down to.

Mr. Sutton admitted, ‘Wantok system’ within the SI Customs is a huge challenge contributed to the country’s revenue loss every year.

by Charley Piringi

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