Don’t accept bribes, immigration officers told

Immigration officers are being warned they place the country in danger if they accept bribes or “look the other way” in exchange for personal gain.

Addressing the start of a week-long customer service training programme Monday morning, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Division of Defence and Security Timothy Maynard urged the immigration workers to be humble, helpful, fair, professional and polite, but not timid or fearful in enforcing the rules.

At the same time, Maynard was emphatic that the acceptance of gifts and rewards for doing their job was out of the question.

Timothy Maynard

“It is necessary to constantly guard against bribes and inducements to bend rules and regulations for personal gain, and to look the other way. In this era of technology, terrorism and rampant global crime, looking the other way poses a clear and present danger to the safety, security and stability of our country and its citizens and visitors alike, and that includes you and your colleagues,” he warned.

At least 150 immigration workers are expected to undergo customer service training as part of a US$110,000 project which started in 2014 at the request of the Division of Defence and Security.

Maynard reminded the officers of the authority which they had “to grant or take away rights and privileges from citizens or to enhance or frustrate persons” with whom they come into contact.

However, he said this did not mean they should disrespect the travelling public.

“That ability never entitles us to use our authority to harass, belittle or humiliate people. We always need to show respect, exercise proper judgment, pay a listening ear and go the extra mile,” he said.

The Government official also stressed the importance of good customer service, stressing the country, especially the tourism and international business sectors, relied heavily on top quality service.

He made reference to the record 610,000 long-stay visitors to these shores last year, cautioning the immigration officers that now was not the time to become complacent.

“If we as frontline personnel and the first interaction with Barbados appear aggressive, unfriendly, unsympathetic or unwelcoming, it will severely blemish this entire visitor experience. It is unlikely that the visitor will repeat his or her visit. Moreover, the visitor will communicate to their family and friends their experience and they too will not want to visit Barbados.

“When it is considered that tourism is the main industry in Barbados . . . one would agree that we as immigration officers can ill-afford to deliver poor customer service,” Marshall said.

The customer service training is being conducted in collaboration with Compete Caribbean, and the officers will participate in a range of activities, including role playing, interview techniques and exposure to relevant laws. 

7 Responses to Don’t accept bribes, immigration officers told

  1. Fed up January 10, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Why not tell we politician not to accept bribes. Put de POOR PEOPLE interest first and stop selling out the lil island to the highest bidders……. still waiting on our income tax

    Reply
  2. Sunshine Sunny Shine January 10, 2017 at 1:03 am

    LOL. What you mean don’t accept bribes? So you are saying that Immigration officers are accepting bribes? What have you put in place to capture any of them in this sophisticated bribe operation? The politicians are driving around in gifts given to them by contractors they give projects too. Many a top civil servant and even the politician make a lucrative living through their mutual agreements with contractors they give projects too. And, you asking, the immigration officers not to take bribes? You know how cheap talk us? LMAO

    Reply
  3. Michael Ess
    Michael Ess January 10, 2017 at 1:08 am

    In other news, water is wet.

    Reply
  4. Hal Austin January 10, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Everybody is on the make: big employers are using immigration to bring their friends in on the grounds no local people are available to do the jobs; the state itself is selling passports; immigration and customs are on the make.
    Integrity in public life should be the byword for public servants. Things are falling apart.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer January 10, 2017 at 8:23 am

    @Hall – you know a lot. But true.

    Reply
  6. Hewers of wood January 10, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Maybe their salary is too low. hahahahaha

    Reply
  7. Mikey January 10, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Where is CCC on this ???
    Why warn immigration officers ???
    Has it happened, Did it happen ???
    Does he think it will happen ???
    If it happens, then enforce the law !!!
    Steupse !!!

    Reply

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