The Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (IBCE) was kind to share with Bolivian Thoughts in an Emerging World a recent perception survey regarding the performance of the Bolivian National Customs (ANB) institution, press release IBCE E-1401/2011.
Follows, the summary of the findings:
(1) Overall performance of the ANB during 2011: in relation to this survey, a 44% stated that customs improved “a lot”; 14 % “little”; a 30% (nearly one-third) said that it remains the same; 24% said that it is worse off.
(2) ANB Service: 43% said that they have improved (much 35%; and a little 8%); while 37% said they remain the same; and 20%, said it worsened.
(3) Operational customs control (COA) – 29% believed that the COA improved management 2011 (much 24%; and a little 5%); 46% perceived that the COA remains the same, while 25% felt that their actions during the last administration deteriorated.
(4) Combating smuggling: 30% said that this work improved during 2011. But 40% does not perceive changes, while 30 percent believed that it is worse off
(5) How could it improve the customs? Over 1,222 answers (given the possibility of multiple options), 34% believed that the Customs would be improved with more qualified personnel; 23% pointed to the technological improvement; 16 percent advocated improving the Customs Act; 10 per cent by raising salaries in the ANB and the COA; 9 per cent, for a larger budget; and 8% said that the Executive Body should support it more.
(6) Attributes of the President of the Customs Office: on a total of 802 responses (by the possibility of multiple options), 34% believed that its main attribute was her “strength of character” (bringing to mind that being President of the internal revenue service performance, described her as the “Iron Lady”); 15%, honesty; 15%, her vision; 14 per cent, high professionalism; in the remaining 22%, they considered other attributes as well as weaknesses.
(7) Hiring of hierarchical and technical personnel at the Customs Office: on a total of 792 answers (given the possibility of multiple options) a forceful 64% of respondents, the highest level of the survey, believed that the recruitment of staff should be made by contest of merits (this percentage rise to 92% considering that 509 total of 556 people supported so); 19% said that it should be with total autonomy of the Executive Body; 6 per cent recommended but rather coordinated with such entity; and only 3%, said it would be welcomed the “direct appointment” of technical and hierarchical personnel.
Kudos for IBCE and I hope the ANB upper management continues to remain honest and do not bend to any political pressure nor “social movements” type of pressure.