Over the past 2 weeks, Customs, Immigration and Biosecurity Officers (CIB) from both management and intermediate levels have been meeting at least three times a week to discuss and work on their strategic plan as an activity organized by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP). According to Director John Tarkong Jr., these sessions of meetings have really focused on developing a strategic plan aimed at fruitful discussions to help identify and analyze issues, existing activities and measures that also involve policy at the Bureau level that we hope will strengthen BCBP to work smarter, be more innovative and more efficient over the next four years. In line with these discussions, Tarkong mentioned that we are also fortunate to receive online technical assistance from the Pacific Immigration Development Community (PIDC) through the advice and expertise of a consultant to help us review our work and point us in the right direction.

A number of challenges were identified to include the COVID-19 Pandemic that affected everyone in Palau and the world and, as a result, this called for greater collaboration between our border, law enforcement and other relevant agencies. Our vision and plan, while still in the making, includes measurable standards and targets and once completed it will help lay out a realistic strategy for reforming our organization over the next four to five years.  While there are indeed significant initiatives that are essential to enable CIB Officers to fulfill our institutional obligations and to become a reliable, trustworthy and an efficient organization, a number of strategic objectives and focus points were formulated. In fact, CIB officers felt that it is very important that we continue to build and invest in our people and technical resources while enhancing border control, infrastructure improvements, strengthen the legal framework, improve travel and trade facilitation, improving revenue and compliance measures as well as improving our overall service delivery. Over the next few weeks, CIB will continue to work and develop the plan. Stay tuned.

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