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Digitisation Critical For FRCA To Remain Modern, Says Das

The need for the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority to rise to modern day business platform has been highlighted. This was stressed by acting chief executive, Visvanath Das, yesterday as
27 Jan 2016 11:31
Digitisation Critical For FRCA To Remain Modern, Says Das
Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, cuts the cake with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority executives and staff members to celebrate International Customs Day.

The need for the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority to rise to modern day business platform has been highlighted.

This was stressed by acting chief executive, Visvanath Das, yesterday as the authority celebrated the International Customs Day.

Mr Das told FRCA staff members and stakeholders: “To be in business today, you need tomorrow’s thinking.”

Mr Das said FRCA has set to align itself to become a world-class authority delivering excellence in revenue collection, border protection, trade and travel facilitation.

“One of the enablers for this vision is no doubt, the platform of digital customs,” he said.

“The 21st century has brought within itself, a lot of inventions for ease of trade and travel.

“As the high-tech revolutions are probably what this century would be best remembered for, it has made our world much smaller.

“But at the same time, it is increasing the risk to border security and sophistication of criminal webs.”

 

Critical role

Meanwhile chief guest for the celebrations, Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, reminded FRCA staff members of the critical role they play.

“Customs plays a very pivotal role in any country’s well-being, security and wealth,” he said.

While the role is important, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was still perhaps a mindset in that being overwhelming is the way to operate.

“That is not the way to operate. The way to operate is to facilitate yet at the same time be extremely vigilant in terms of enforcing the laws of your country,” he said.

“It is a very simple approach. We need to be facilitators and at the same time be those who protect the best interest of your country.

“How far you go in terms of protecting the best interest of your country and which manner you deliver it in is really the key.”

 

Benefits of digitisation

Reflecting on the theme of “Digital Customs for Progressive Engagement”, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said having a digital approach means matters can be expedited.

“It means you are able to perhaps get information that you would not be able to ascertain when you individually interview people,” he said.

“Digitaisation allows you to get facts even before people get to you. Digitisation helps you to do your job better, maintain a particular level of vigilance which you would not have otherwise.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said funds have been allocated in the 2016 National Budget to help FRCA fast track its digitisation programme.

Edited by: RACHNA LAL

 



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