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Saturday 18 November 2017
Local

Nothing changed at BIR, Customs

Absolute failure.

This was the conclusion of a staff member at the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) office in Port of Spain yesterday, on the second day of rest and reflect.

On Tuesday, PSA President Watson Duke called on public servants both at the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) and Customs and Excise Division to rest and reflect for two days over plans to transfer them to the proposed Revenue Authority.

When Newsday visited the BIR on Queen Street yesterday morning and afternoon, a staff member said it was work as usual and customers were being attended to.

“Everything here is normal. People are being attended to, and as you can see the office is opened for business.”

However, at the Customs and Excise Division, Newsday was told by a staff member most of the senior officers came out to work but were not signing off on any documents to have barrels and containers cleared.

While unsure if the cashiers were on duty, the worker said nothing was taking place at the port because the senior officers were on a go-slow.

“I have documents I send in since yesterday and it was not signed off on. Nothing is going on. By the One Stop Barrel Shed, better known as shed 10, nothing is happening there. The place is just slow.”

When contacted via a WhatsApp message to inquire whether the call to rest and reflect had been a success or failure, Duke did not comment.

Asked the reason some workers had protested on Thursday afternoon outside PSA’s headquarters, Duke responded, “The workers are heavily involved in PNM politics and PSA’s election next two weeks. Their concerns is not genuine but one that is timed and calculated to bring disrepute to holder of the office of the PSA.”

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