CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION officers were among those reminded not to abuse their power as they began a week-long customer service workshop today.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Division of Defence and Security Timothy Maynard said public officers should never use their authority to harass, belittle or humiliate people, but instead should show respect and exercise proper judgment.
He was speaking during the opening of the workshop at the Inter-American Development Bank’s head office on Maxwell Coast Road, Christ Church.
“As public officers, we are agents of the State whose primary role is to serve, protect, support and generally look after the welfare of its people. As such, we should always discharge our duties with humility, fairness and empathy, in the full knowledge that, we too, are customers,” he said.
Chief immigration officer Wayne Marshall said it was the first time in the history of the Immigration Department that officers were being trained in customer service.
“If we are the front line personnel and the first interaction with Barbados appears unsympathetic and unwelcoming it will severely blemish the [outlook on the island] and they will spread the word not wanting to visit the island,” he said.
Workshop participants included Customs and Immigration officers and workers from the Barbados Tourism Product Authority and the Grantley Adams International Airport. (MR)