Customs Management Optimization project to identify $15 million in uncollected revenue

Customs Management Optimization project to identify $15 million in uncollected revenue
Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The government has signed a $1.4 million contract with international customs consultants TTEK Global Inc. for a Customs Management Optimization project, guaranteed to identify at least $15 million in uncollected revenue.

The Ministry of Finance announced in a statement yesterday that the consultancy, which is expected to start today, will span eight months.

“TTEK will work with senior management at the Customs Department and the Ministry of Finance to reduce revenue leakages and secure further reform and revenue enhancement within the tax collection agency,” the statement advised.

“…The engagement will provide for an initial five-week assessment of the Customs Department to identify opportunities to address revenue leakage, using advanced data analytic tools to undertake a deep-dive of several years of customs import data.

“During the follow up stage, five international customs experts will work directly alongside the customs team to introduce and embed the agreed reform elements which flow from the initial phases.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the engagement is another step forward toward the government’s efforts to reform and modernize the country’s revenue collection framework.

He noted that the initiative will ensure that modern data analytic capabilities are being utilized to address revenue collection anomalies and to close any significant holes in the collection of customs duties.

“What we are particularly keen on is the fact that we will have seasoned customs experts from around the world working directly alongside our customs management team for about seven months to help guide the implementation of the reform efforts and provide ongoing support to enhance the use of investigative and data analytic techniques”, Turnquest said.

“TTEK was selected as the winning bidder in part because its core expertise is customs and border management.

“Its resume includes a diverse range of countries, including work in the Caribbean region with countries that share many of the same challenges and opportunities.

“Because the team on the ground will be comprised in large part by former customs officers and managers, we feel that they will have the real-life experience to add tremendous value to the government’s reform efforts.

The company has provided services for many countries including, Australia, the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bangladesh, Ghana, Philippines, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, and more.

The company specializes in delivering customs and border management consultancies and technical solutions around the world. It draws from a bench of more than 200 international experts who have worked in diverse Customs and Border management public entities. TTEK, its executives, and its team of experts have provided services for jurisdictions such as the

“The value of the contract with TTEK Global Inc. is $1,379,640,” the statement added.

“TTEK has committed in the contract to identifying no less than $15 million in uncollected revenue by virtue of its diagnostic exercises”.