Acting Comptroller of the Bahamas Customs and Excise Department Ralph Munroe says the customs department is currently understaffed. He also says that government has promised a recruitment exercise soon consisting of two groups of sixty.
Munroe said, “that in and of itself won’t be sufficient because you’ve got to look at customs, not so much as New Providence only. New Providence, of course is strapped with staff but you’ve only got to look at places like Exuma. Exuma probably can have as many as twenty, twenty five officers, as we speak they only have ten. And we’ve got to look at Eleuthera again growing rapidly. San Salvador, we just increased numbers in San Salvador, only by one, but again that’s a 25% increase. Abaco is understaffed, we need more in Abaco. We need more persons in places like Grand Bahama and you name it we need them. And so, if you look at it ideally we can take literally two hundred officers right now and we’ll probably be on even keel to start with.”
Munroe went on to explain some of the reason for the staff shortage. He said, “attrition, through resignation and of course a few persons who would have died. One or two persons who’ve been transferred or who’ve been seconded to other ministries. Our staff is literally 55-60% less than we were in 2017.”