December 04, 2020– Information sharing is now important more than ever, OCO Acting Head of Secretariat, Irma Daphney Stone says following the conclusion of another Information Sharing Working Group (ISWG) meeting on November 24.
The meeting, which is held every quarter comprises six members who have been elected from the 23 OCO member countries. The current members are Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Palau, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Mrs. Stone went on to say that, “we are in uncertain times due to COVID-19, with the support of ISWG, OCO works to strengthen members modern business processes, based on risk management and intelligence led decision making.”
OCO develops common resources and templates to facilitate the development and sharing of information and intelligence products, promote partnerships and communication between members and stakeholders and strengthen capacity of Customs administrations and officers.
“Basically, the committee needs to ensure that sufficient efforts are put in place to leverage the members’ potential in seamless flow of information. Given the limited resources available to Pacific Islands Customs administrations, strengthening collaboration amongst our members is one way to enhance their law enforcement capacity,” Mrs. Stone says.
The ISWG continues to encourage all OCO members to sign a memorandum of understanding on Customs co-operation to have a unified information sharing tool such as the OCO-APAN community, which is used as an information exchange platform as well as the Pacific Small Craft Application, which is used to manage and monitor small craft.
The ISWG was established during the OCO 2015 Heads of Customs annual conference to strengthen collaboration among members as well as partners.