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Customs explore storing VI transactions in the ‘Cloud’—Commissioner Wade N. Smith

Commissioner of Customs, Wade Smith. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Wade Smith was at the time briefing the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee, on the Virgin Islands (VI) Customs' operations—a significant revenue arm for the treasury, since over 45 per cent of goods are imported into the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Wade Smith was at the time briefing the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee, on the Virgin Islands (VI) Customs' operations—a significant revenue arm for the treasury, since over 45 per cent of goods are imported into the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Commissioner of Customs, Wade N. Smith, says the government agency has turned to computer developers IBM, to explore having its online and other transactions, facilitated on the ‘cloud,’ since the loss of connectivity during hurricanes Irma and Maria, had significantly hampered its operations.

Mr Smith was at the time briefing the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee, on the Virgin Islands (VI) Customs' operations—a significant revenue arm for the treasury, since over 45 per cent of goods are imported into the Territory.

Manual Processing

During the hearing earlier this year—to examine the draft budget allocations for the agency for 2018—Mr Smith, disclosed that following the deadly ‘Category 5’ hurricanes, their recovery efforts were challenged, as there were internet connectivity problems with its Customs Automated Processing (CAP) system.  As such, processing and the clearing process became manual causing delays in persons obtaining items imported.

Mr Smith disclosed to committee members, that Customs have since met with the CAPs developers at IBM, and have “discussed the possibilities of running the CAPS system via Cloud.” He said, “in the event of a disaster, this will enable the system to continue without interruption.” The cloud essentially provides a storage and connectivety platform for its users, often times multi-national corporations, governments and businesses, in addition to the average user.

Centralised Couriers  

The Commissioner informed committee members, all nine official ports of entries in the VI had been damaged during the storms and that Customs was forced to shift operations to facilitate the movements of goods and passengers in a safe and efficient environment.

Mr Smith disclosed that the rebuilding process has begun, and funds are needed to outfit all offices, from Jost Van Dyke to Virgin Gorda. He said, since the hurricanes, management has been discussing ways to streamline and centralise their business and operational processes.

According to Commissioner Smith, they have in the past, discussed the multi-agency facility at Port Purcell, to accommodate Customs, Police, Immigration and other services but with the limited space, he proposed an off-site location. That location, he said, would “accommodate Customs Headquarters, CAPS, (and) a central location for all couriers, as we all know the courier services have grown tremendously.”

The proposed facility would also house the processing operations for all concessions for hotel-aid, first time home builders, commercial licences and cruising permits.

5 Responses to “Customs explore storing VI transactions in the ‘Cloud’—Commissioner Wade N. Smith”

  • LOL (13/06/2018, 10:51) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    So Wade wasn’t this part of he risk assessment on the software and overall business continuity plan that should’ve been in-place long before IrMaria?!? Shameful and shambolic the way Therese government depart and statutory bodies have been ran and managed for decades!!! No wonder graduates and professional from here whom are abroad don’t want to return to work for these MICKEY MOUSE clubs being ran as government units! You mean with all the data (no data protection Act) collected daily/monthly that there has been no plan to manage and store this in the event of natural disasters of such that there are backups (remotely) or stored in a data center offshore? Well sah! The brilliance of these decion makers and the elites around her shows just how inept and lost the BVI has been.
  • Georgie (13/06/2018, 12:05) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    The cloud is not the way to go. Internet connectivity is essential for cloud computing. So if you are having internet woes, how will the CAPS system function if it’s in the cloud? How would customs themselves have access to their data? We have three Internet Service Providers (ISP) with one (1) main internet pipe to the island. Should we loose connectivity we would be dead in the water. Please reconsider, having additional services on island.
  • fish (13/06/2018, 22:24) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The customs department needs new blood
  • Rubber Duck (15/06/2018, 00:01) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Translation: He thinks it might be a good idea to have some kind of back up next time. Its called locking the stable door after the horse has bolted and is standard operating procedure in BVI Customs.
  • customs (16/06/2018, 18:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wade needs to go


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