A five-day workshop, aimed at fostering anti-corruption and good governance practices in the customs department through the conduct of administrative investigations in French-speaking countries, kickstarted yesterday morning, at the Integrated Customs Clearance Centre, in Plaine Magnien.
The workshop, an initiative of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA), is organised in collaboration with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the Programme anti-corruption et promotion de l’intégrité des douanes (A-CPI).
The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy; the Director General of MRA, Mr Sudhamo Lal; the Director of Customs MRA, Mr Vivekanand Ramburun; participants from Southern and Eastern African; the MRA personnel; and other personalities attended the opening ceremony.
In his address, Minister Padayachy highlighted that the partnership with the WCO has been pivotal in assisting in the alignment of the Mauritian customs practices with international standards. The WCO, he affirmed, not only provided the customs department with valuable advice, expertise and resources, but also engaged actively in sensitising the staff into a culture of ethics. These, he pointed out, helped in the prevention of illicit activities and the promotion of integrity, which, according to him, are two crucial pillars of good governance and economic stability.
Notwithstanding the external shocks, the authorities demonstrated their resilience and abided by the international norms to boost the country’s economic growth, Dr Padayachy underlined. He further asserted that conformity to good governance principles has favoured a conducive environment for businesses and the economic infrastructure. As a result, the Gini Coefficient has known a significant decline from 0.42 in 2015 to 0.304 in 2022, he indicated.
The Finance Minister, moreover, outlined the significance of promoting a just and equitable workplace for all employees. Such a practice, he stated, will boost the workers’ productivity as well as the efficiency and innovativeness of the tasks performed. In addition, Dr Padayachy dwelt on how administrative investigations will play a primordial role in ascertaining that the rule of law is respected.
For his part, Mr Lal emphasised on the roles of the WCO and the customs department of the MRA in advancing the socio-economic development of Mauritius. He also reiterated the imperativeness of values such as fairness, justice, honesty and transparency in fostering a business-friendly climate, and consequently, promoting the well-being of the Mauritian population.