23rd December, 2010

It is with some concern that I read adverse comments regarding HM Customs. In particular the very serious accusation of bribery, and the specific allegation of Bribes being taken by Customs officers.

Let me first state that any allegation of misconduct, bribery, or poor customer service is taken extremely seriously by Montserrat Customs and Revenue Service (MCRS). Any complaint or allegation made will receive the fullest attention and investigation with the result being communicated to the individual/group complaining.

It is however impossible to investigate an allegation without facts and detail, as such unsubstantiated allegations published or broadcast does nothing but harm the reputation of the service and the government of Montserrat both locally and internationally. In addition it serves to undermine the morale of individual officers and the service as a whole.

In order that we can provide the best customer service and maintain the integrity and highest standards within the department and to meet the requirements which the public expect. I would request that all allegations should be submitted to the department detailing facts in order that they can be addressed.

I am aware that individuals may feel by complaining that they will leave themselves open to discrimination from the department. However let me please give the assurance that all communication will be treated in the strictest of confidence. Should this not be sufficient then unsigned complaints will be investigated, however we obviously can not reply to an anonymous complaint. It is the case that should a complaint be proved correct the appropriate action will be undertaken by the department.

The MCRS wishes to maintain the highest standards of integrity and service to the public and internationally and as such we strive to improve our organization continuously. We do not endorse inappropriate or criminal behavior by staff and will take appropriate action as necessary to deal with any incidences.

I would however issue the following caveat namely any malicious or spurious complaints made can result in appropriate action being taken against the complainant.

I would urge anyone with a legitimate complaint to contact the department, and assure you that it will be dealt with promptly and appropriately.

Yours Sincerely,

Peter Henderson
Director General MCRS (Interim).