Capacity Building Committee 4th Session : Executive Summary

27 二月 2013



Brussels, 25 - 27 February 2013

Executive Summary

27 February 2013

The Fourth Session of the WCO Capacity Building Committee (CBC) took place in Brussels from 25 to 27 February 2013. Some of the main outcomes are the following.

  1. Delegates re-elected Mr. Chris Henderson (Canada) as Chair of the Capacity Building Committee. Mr. Xiangyang Sun (China) was re-elected as Vice-Chair.
  2. The Secretary General opened the meeting by describing how capacity building fitted into the overall strategic approach of the WCO. He re-emphasized that capacity building was one of the key building blocks and foundations of the WCO, and was vital to the achievement of its objectives. He encouraged the CBC to continue to guide the Secretariat, including by contributing to the Organizational Development Package and ongoing CB delivery.
  3. The Director, Capacity Building reminded the CBC of the three key phases of Customs organizational development, namely diagnosis of the current situation, strategic planning and implementation of change, and monitoring and evaluation. He explained that the Organizational Development Package (ODP) outlined the WCO’s basic approach towards organizational development. It provided a simple and accessible overview of the texts, tools and instruments that related to this topic. While the CBC endorsed the ODP, Members who had comments to offer on the content were encouraged to do so in writing by the end of March 2013, so that their proposals could be taken into consideration before the ODP was submitted to the Policy Commission and Council in June this year.
  4. The CBC welcomed the panel session on "The urgency to act: from strategic planning to implementation" which placed Members’ experience and development strategies in focus for the CBC. Mr. Kodjo S-T Adedze, Director General of Togo Customs, Mr. Rodolfo Alvarez Rapaport, National Director of Chile Customs, and Ms. Leonor Pimenta, Head of the Office of the Director General of Angola Customs, shared their practical experiences and lessons learned in the reform and modernization of their administrations. The key messages that the CBC gained from these experiences included the fact that successful implementation needed passion, political will, leadership and ownership, private sector stakeholder engagement and follow-up of the degree to which results were being achieved, in order to ensure accountability.
  5. Participants welcomed the WCO Capacity Building Report, as outlined in Doc. HC0039, which was presented by the Director, Capacity Building; they also took note of the progress made with capacity building work since the Committee’s 3rd Session. The Secretariat would welcome additional input that Members might wish to submit in writing, such as case studies, that could be taken into consideration prior to the report to the Policy Commission and Council in June.
  6. Performance Measurement was discussed from the perspectives of delivery and development, by representatives of the World Bank, Uruguay Customs, IADB, IMF and the WCO Secretariat. The CBC took note of progress in implementing the principles set out in the WCO Capacity Building Development Compendium chapter on organizational performance measurement. The Committee stressed the need for the WCO to continue to play a leading role in Customs Performance Measurement and, if possible, to further co-ordinate with other international organizations.
  7. Participants noted with interest the presentations on the successful implementation of Columbus Phase 3 missions, which had taken place in Belarus, the Maldives and the United Arab Emirates in 2012. The CBC also took note of delivery developments related to Columbus Programme Phase 3 since the 3rd Session, and endorsed the "Experts Guidelines for Columbus Programme Phase 3 Progress Evaluation – 2013".
  8. The CBC took note of the increased importance of donor engagement, as well as the need for administrations to link project proposals with their strategic goals. In relation to the organization of regional donor conferences, the CBC stressed the importance of follow-up and long-term engagement after conferences. On the issue of examining the establishment of a WCO global fund for capacity building, the CBC took note of the results of the internal audit conducted by the WCO. It endorsed the Audit Committee’s recommendation that an in-depth study be conducted on this matter, and that it be brought to the attention of the Policy Commission. The CBC also emphasized the increasing importance of securing a sustainable source of funding for delivering capacity building support, and therefore encouraged all parties to maintain the momentum and take any appropriate action to make it a reality.
  9. The CBC welcomed contributions from members of the Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) who provided input for the Orientation Package for Policy-makers. The Committee looked forward to receiving the PSCG Annex to the Orientation Package, in time for it to be presented at the next Policy Commission and Council Sessions.
  10. The CBC recognized the role that private sector partners could play in the complex business of Customs, as well as in reform and modernization. The CBC recommended that all Customs administrations be consistent and committed to a dialogue with private sector stakeholders.
  11. On the topic of Women in Customs leadership, Ms. Josephine Feehily, Chairman – Office of the Revenue Commissioners, Ireland, and WCO Council Chairperson, challenged participants to undertake efforts towards gender equality because "it matters" and "it is the right thing to do" for the organizational culture. She emphasized how inaction in this area could lead to a waste of great potential and could undermine the credibility and legitimacy of the organization. While laws were essential, Ms. Feehily also suggested the adoption of concrete measures related to targets for the number of women, the adoption of family-friendly policies and the strategic placement of women in positions of authority and responsibility. She suggested to the Committee that discrimination had gone "underground" and that this should serve as warning of the need to keep fighting for gender equality.
  12. Ms. María Siomara Ayeran, Director General of Customs of Argentina, spoke of the importance of role models, of taking risks, of the value of gaining the trust and confidence of superiors, and of involving women in the entire process of reform and modernization. She further described Argentina’s efforts and clear political will to change the organizational landscape in terms of gender equality, through the adoption of many constitutional and legislative safeguards.
  13. The CBC deliberations on the issue of Women in Customs leadership revealed a depth of interest, useful experiences, and a willingness among Members to share views and information on this important topic. It was noted that more work needed to be done to develop Capacity Building programming on the issue of Women in Customs leadership. The CBC acknowledged the excellent work done to include gender-related content in the Leadership and Management Development Programme. Participants were invited to provide comments, examples and practices related to Doc. HC0049 to the CBD, which would prepare an updated document for consideration by the Policy Commission and Council in June 2013. The CBC proposed to the WCO Council Chairperson that discussions on this topic be included in the Policy Commission and Council sessions.
  14. The CBC took note of the report by Ms Andrea Paz from the ROCB American and Caribbean Region, who had chaired the ROCB-RTC meeting held on 21 and 22 February 2013. An executive summary of the meeting was shared with CBC participants.
  15. The CBC took note of the report of the 7th PICARD Conference and endorsed the PICARD 2020 Strategic Document, as well as the amended PICARD recognition guidelines on customs education and training curricula, noting that these were "living" documents. The Secretariat was tasked to review the PICARD Professional Standards and to explore developing a policy that would better coordinate the research undertaken across the various WCO committees.
  16. Participants took note with interest of a presentation by Ms. Evdokia Moise, OECD, on an OECD research project to assess the impact and cost of implementing trade facilitation measures.
  17. Speakers from SARS, Cameroon Customs, CBSA and Swaziland Revenue Authority guided the CBC through a summary of work done since the last CBC meeting on the topic of Professionalism in Customs. The CBC approved the general direction of Docs HC0045-0048. It also approved the module on Gender equality and diversity within the LMDP. Participants were invited to further share case studies, practices and NTC curricula on the relevant subjects.
  18. The CBC showed great appreciation of the various side events organized during CBC4 lunch breaks.
  19. The CBC elected Mr. Ernani Checcucci (Brazil) as Chairperson and Ms. Beatrice Memo (Kenya) as Vice-Chairperson for the next CBC session.
  20. The next CBC session is tentatively scheduled to take place in Brussels in March-April 2014.