Risk Engine
Dubai Customs

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Dubai Customs (DC) is mainly responsible for the enhancement of the trade facilitation while ensuring the fulfillment of the local, regional and international regulatory compliance. As more than 75% of United Arab Emirates’ trade uses borders of Dubai, the role of DC becomes more important. DC ensure that the borders (sea, land, air) of UAE are protected against illegitimate trade, goods and activities including in-flow and out-flow of narcotics, weapons, diseases, bio-hazardous material, counterfeited items and human trafficking that can impact the legitimacy of trade and jeopardize the lives & properties of the citizens, residents and businesses in the country. In order to monitor and control all the above mentioned illegal practices DC was facing a number of challenges, some significant and imminent, which needed to be addressed if it is to maintain Dubai’s position as a regional leader promoting legitimate trade. Till 2009, DC systems and controls did not have the capacity to cope with planned growth in trade and tourism sectors in the country that ensure safety and security for the people of UAE. The threats and risks associated with illegal trade were mitigated on the basis of human tacit knowledge and trial and error. Information flow between the internal departments was semi-automated and the practice of sharing information like black-listed companies, prohibited commodities, products watch-list etc. was weak. The risk assessment was used sporadically for determining which goods should be inspected but was not being used systematically. The entry processing staff did not appear properly equipped to decide which goods must be examined and to what extent. Consequently Customs Inspectors were not always given sufficiently precise instructions as to what was in doubt, what they were to look for and why. In terms of the cost of obtaining DC services and doing business in UAE, it was taking a long time for the businesses to get their declarations cleared. This was impacting the entire trade-supply cycle and cost of doing business was getting higher with direct impact on the community at large. The businesses also had to bear higher cost and wait longer to get their goods cleared and lower customer satisfaction was reported. The ports of Dubai were also facing congestions as Customs clearance process was taking a long time and occupying the shipping yards and warehouses. At the same time, in line with the Dubai Government Security Strategy Agenda and Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, various government entities emphasized the need to have an integrated system that can facilitate them countering unauthorized movement of illegal goods proactively. DC, being the first point of interaction between global trade and the law enforcement agencies took the lead and conceived an intelligent and smart system that could deliver flexible capabilities to detect suspected and fraudulent transactions and help law enforcement agencies take action proactively. DC called this system “Risk Engine” as it collects, integrates, analyzes, visualizes and distributes information to Customs and other enforcement officers for intelligent and informed decision making.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
“Security, Justice & Safety” is one of the five guiding principles of Dubai Strategic Plan 2015. All the government entities, especially, security and enforcement agencies were keen in having an integrated system in place that can ensure collaboration and coordination in fighting the crime, illegal trade and human trafficking. The government agencies like Dubai Police, Immigration and National Security Agencies needed access to the information of the individuals and companies involved in suspicious activities. The government entities like Dubai Municipality, Department of Health and Ministry of Environment wanted to ensure that any goods that are dangerous for the humans or environment are kept in check. At the same time, the international agencies like Interpol and other regional agencies were keen to have prior information of the suspected shipments and goods to encounter them proactively at the ports of entry. Dubai Customs (DC) decided to take the lead in implementing a system that can help all the government agencies and ensure coordination and information sharing. DC is not only an integral part of UAE’s economy but also an important member of the World Customs Organization (WCO). DC must satisfy all the international recommendations and obligations while protecting the national borders and ensuring trade facilitation. In 2007,to establish a maturity baseline, DC requested WCO to conduct an assessment of different aspects of its maturity including security and risk management. In their report, WCO recommended the modernization of DC processes and the implementation of a formal risk assessment system as only 25% of the goods entering into Dubai’s ports were assessed for risk. Dubai Ports Authority also felt the need of such a system as they wanted their ports and warehouses cleared as soon as possible. Most importantly, there was also a push from the trade and business community to have a system that can help streamline the clearance system. After taking into consideration all the requirements from different sets of stakeholders the development and implementation of the Risk Engine was initiated. The objectives and key performance indicators of the Risk Engine were identified in-line with DC Strategic Plan and the vision of the organization. The first objective of the Risk Engine was to Increase Protection and Compliance by enhancing the efficiency of the risk profiles by 50% and increasing the number of seizures with the help of Risk Engine once the system becomes operational in 2011. Also, it would improve strategic alliances and partnerships with other public & private entities. The second objective of the Risk Engine was the Enhancement of Trade Facilitation by reducing the intervention rate to 12% in 2011. Since the Risk Engine is a smart system and matures itself on the basis of the accumulated data it was conceived that the Risk Engine will be tuned so it can process the all the transactions within 2 seconds. The third major objective of the Risk Engine was to Improve Operational Performance of the organization by reducing the operational cost of IT by 50% and increasing the number of transactions processes in less than 10 minutes. The forth objectives is about enhancing the customer experience by delivering the customer-centric services and increasing the customer satisfaction by 10% in 2012 and reducing the cost of declaration by 30% during the same time. The implementation of the initiative helped the organization achieving all the objectives highlighted above and realizing the anticipated benefits. In 2011, WCO conducted another maturity assessment of DC as a follow up of the 2007 study and recognized the achievements that were resulted because of the implementation of the Risk Engine.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Public Sector Excellence is one of the key agendas of Dubai Government that is built around innovation in service delivery by leveraging advanced technologies. Risk Engine was an innovative initiative as it touchedvarious aspects of processes enhancement, people capability development and implementation of state-of-the-art technologies. Risk engine is an dynamic system that integrates with all other systems in DC and can utilize real time data from different sources without duplicating information and can distribute information horizontally and vertically to increase efficiency & effectiveness of risk profiles. This helps the intelligence officers creating more accurate and authentic profiles. DC Risk Engine implements complex parameterized and nested mathematical models making the risk profiles robust. DC studied the mathematical models being used by British, Netherlands, New Zealand Customs and improved upon them. Risks can be simulated on real data prior live deployment to judge their effectiveness and tweaking them as required. Scheduled profiles can be created to facilitate seasonal and global events. Risk engine also supports real time profile deployment for emergencies. Risk Engine is highly configurableand can be extended to any other organization that is dealing in the business of risk management and forecasting including financial institutions.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Dubai Customs (DC) knew the importance of this key strategic initiative and prepared an end-to-end road map for the implementation. The initiative was logically divided into three main phases spanning over a period of three years from year 2009 to year 2011. The first phase, also called discovery phase, started with thedemand outline and documented the problems and challenges of all the stakeholders. After the problem analysis, the team initiated the study of current situation analysis in 2009. This activity involved the gap analysis with respect to the recommendations from WCO, stakeholders’ requirements and the practices in place within the organization. A comprehensive study of the WCO Columbus Report was carried out that helped in the preparation of a gap analysis report. An elaborated set of business requirements specifications were formulated in the light of WCO Columbus Program Report recommendations and the gap analysis report that involved the details on the requirements for people, process and technology capability enhancement. DC used the Balanced Scorecard approach to identify the goals and objectives of this initiative. While developing the strategy for this initiative, DC closely analyzed the strategies of the other government entities and Dubai Strategic Plan 2015. This helped DC ensuring that this system is horizontally aligned with the other government strategies and fulfills their security and risk management requirements. At the same time, the other government entities were engaged to obtain their requirements and expectations from the system. In order to ensure the vertical integration, the systems and practices related to Customs clearance within DC were also studied and documented to include in the scope of the initiative. Before embarking upon building the system, a proof of concept was conducted by developing the stop gap solution to integrate with the Mirsal (DC customized Customs Declaration System) that helped a lot in identifying the key findings to fine tune the business requirements specifications. Also a detailed study was conducted to determine if the organization wanted to build the system in-house or procure from the market. It was decided to build the system in-house as no single vendor was able to deliver the functionality required by DC. During the second phase, also called Design, Build & Test, the solution was completely designed and developed in-house with the help of professionals following mature internal methodologies including project management methodology, demand management methodology, enterprise architecture framework, change management methodology and quality control for development, design and testing to ensure a quality product. The training plans for the Risk Engine users were also prepared in collaboration with the HR Department. As part of the rollout of the solutions, a comprehensive change management campaign was designed and executed which involved series of user training sessions with the stakeholders who were impacted and ensuring that the message is loud and clear to adopt the new practices for better risk identification and mitigation. This exercise acted as the most important component for smooth transition of the new solution. The third and the final phase, also called Rollout, involved the final rollout of the solution and deployment in the production environment and forming the support teams to help end-users from the intelligence and compliance business departments. The solution was finally handed over to the IT operations team and the intelligence business team after the stabilization period. In order to improve the system functionality, effectiveness and adoption, a feedback and improvement process was implemented that helped in continuous improvement of the system in line with industry best practices and guidelines. A snapshot of the implementation road map is also attached.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
This initiative had major impact the way Dubai Customs (DC) operated, employees worked and customers interacted with Dubai Customs. Stakeholders at all levels within and outside DC were engaged before, during and after the implementation of the Risk Engine by using DC Stakeholder Management Methodology. All stakeholders were involved through the annual and semi-annual customer surveys, quarterly brainstorming sessions, monthly focus groups and DC Consultative Council meetings. All the DC stakeholders were categorized into five broad categories. The DC Internal Employees consisted of the Customs Intelligence, Post Clearance Audit, Inspection & Investigation, Valuation, Tariff and Origin, Customs Declaration Management and Legal & Intellectual Property Rights. The engagement of the representatives from all these business functions was required as the service delivery process was going to be impacted. As DC is the part of a number of international organizations, it was important to engage those organizations to ensure that DC maintains its competitive advantage globally. Some of the most important international organizations included World Customs Organization (WCO), Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO), Interpol and Other Regional and International Customs Organizations. As this initiative was going to engage the local government agencies, it was important to engage them and discover their needs and requirements. Some of the most important local government entities included Federal Customs Authority, Dubai Police Department, Ministry of Environment, Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Municipality and Health Department. The entire Risk Engine was developed to facilitate the trade movement for the business community. It was vital to engage the customers and find out more about their needs. Some of the customers included Shipping Agents, Courier Companies, Importers, Exporters and Brokers. As no organization can operate without collaboration and partnerships with other organizations, DC also engaged financial institutions, Smart Government, Dubai Trade and DP World for the implementation of this initiative.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Dubai Customs (DC) Risk Engine is the state of the art system which is conceived and implemented using the in-house capabilities and resources of DC with consultation from the World Customs Organization (WCO), other partner Customs organization and the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). In 2009, when the project was initiated, the key resources includedDemand Analysts, PMO Analysts, SMEs, Business Architects and the Project Manager. At the same time the individuals from the core business areas were also engaged on need basis. During the first quarter of 2009, as the business requirements were nearing finalization, a team consisting of Technology Architects, Systems Analysts, Application Developers and User Acceptance Testers were formed in order to do a stop-gap solution for proof of concept. In parallel, another team was set up involving the Demand Management group in order to embark upon the study to determine build vs. buy approach. As soon as the stop-gap solution for the proof of concept was declared successful and decision was made to build the Risk Engine in-house. The team of professionals was ramped up by involving members from technology and functional areas including Seibel, Java, Quality Assurance, Database Administrator, Network Administrator, IT Operations and HR (Training and Change Management) to develop the comprehensive quality solution on time and within budget. In order to ensure that the team members were engaged effectively throughout the implementation of the initiative, the most qualified resources were identified. This was achieved by conducted resources’ competency assessment by the Assessment Center in HR Department. This helped the identification of the training needs of the business and technical users that were fulfilled in alignment with the initiative objectives and requirements. Other than the human resources, DC also had to procure the hardware and software licenses. As DC already had a mature infrastructure no major investments were required for the back-up and business continuity. However, dedicated and powerful servers were procured after the capacity analysis conducted by the capacity management team. The powerful systems were required due to the expected growth in trade. It was expected that average number customs declarations will exceed 5 million per year by the end of 2013. In summary, DC adopted Just-in-Time technique as the teams and members were ramped-up and ramped- down as and when needed during the course of the project. Overall, 6 resources were involved in 2009, 19 in 2010 and 3 in 2011. DC heavily relied on internal resources and engaged only 4 external resources throughout the life of the project. For the software and licenses, approximately AED 2 million was invested and the hardware cost DC approximately AED 250,000. Overall, the initial cost of the project was in access of AED 6 million. The operational cost of running and maintaining the Risk Engine is approximately AED 1 million. As the system was built and maintained in-house, DC has realized the cost savings of approximately AED 3 million per year. The Return on Investment (ROI) was calculated at 3.1% with payback period of 2.9 years.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Risk Engine proved a great success not for Dubai Customs (DC) but also for the other stakeholders including customers and partners. The successful implementation of the Risk Engine also helped DC containing the illegal trade and goods movement. For example, there was 36% increase in seizures in last quarter of 2013 when compared to 2012. This was made possible only because the Risk Engine helped identifying the suspected shipments. The risky declarations were flagged by the Risk Engine and referred for inspection. Once the physical inspection of those declarations was performed the Customs inspectors were able to find banned, illegal or under-valued goods. The Risk Profiles effectiveness was increased to 2.72% during the 3rd Quarter of 2013 as compared to 0.59% in 2012 that was resulted in narrowing down the work of Customs Officers to inspect 3.27% of total volume of declarations as opposed to 8% in 2010 i.e. the Customs Officers had to inspect 4.73% less declarations in 2013. As the Risk Engine uses the historical data to identify the risks, it will become more accurate as more data is captured. The Risk Engine assesses the declarations in less than 1 second as compared to 2 to 3 hours assessing time per declaration as a manual assessment. The cost of clearing the declarations was reduced by 50% as the human intervention was only 3.27% which essentially means the savings of the human efforts, reduction in operational cost and optimized efforts and performance i.e. focus on risk mitigation rather than risk assessment. The IT operational cost for maintaining the system was reduced by 65% where the full control of creating and managing the intelligence information based profiles were within the intelligence department and with lesser dependency on IT support. Also this resulted in making the IT team delivering other strategic initiatives. As a result of the Risk Engine implementation the legitimate traders enjoyed clearance of their declarations within 10 minutes. This resulted in faster trade supply and lesser requirements of facilities such as inspection areas, warehouses to hold goods for an extended period of time. This also helped DC depriving illegitimate traders of AED 140 million during 2011 and 2012. The customer satisfaction with DC services was increased by 7% in 2012 as compared to 2008 when very low customer satisfaction was reported. This was made possible because Risk Engine provided faster and safer services in declaration clearance.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Dubai Customs (DC) exercises industry standards and an aggressive quality assurance approach in order to ensure the quality products. The Project Management Office at DC mandated the methodologies to be followed and monitored the project progress, quality and cost. In order to ensure that the project is aligned with the overall objectives of the organization and it progressed in the right direction, project Steering Committee was formed that used to meet once every month. The committee was headed by the Senior Executive Director and representatives from all areas of business and IT were the members of this committee. The Project Work Group supplemented the steering committee that used to meet on weekly basis. This group was represented by the team of Architects, Business & Systems Analysts, Quality Control, Change Management and Subject Matter Experts. All the issues identified during the workgroup meeting were discussed and shared with the Steering Committee. Most of the corrective actions used to be taken by the Steering Committee. DC uses a state-of-the-art Project and Portfolio Management tool that was used to track the progress of the entire project. The tool helped DC in keeping track of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) including project scope, quality, effort, risks, timeline, issues, financial measures and customer satisfaction. Also, the tool helped keeping track of the resources availability, utilization and commitment. As the portfolio management system shows the activities and occupancy of resources throughout the organization, it was easy for the implementation team to make the resources available based on the project requirements. The real time performance dashboards were also available for the senior executives to monitor the progress of the Risk Engine including a risk register specific to the initiative. This helped the executives in taking action proactively in case the schedule is slipped beyond the threshold. DC also has a stack of rigorous end-to-end lifecycle methodologies that ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of any project. In DC any project activity is started with the Demand Management function that is the interface between business and technology domains. DC also used, business processes engineering techniques to ensure that processes are documented, analyzed and improved. The Enterprise Architecture provides a foundation for any given project and demonstrates how different components of a project are aligned with the strategic objectives of the organization and if the benefits are realized at the end of the project.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
When Dubai Customs (DC) took the lead and started analyzing the requirements from different stakeholders, the team discovered competing and diversified needs of different stakeholders. In order to cater to all the stakeholder requirements, DC adopted prioritization techniques to address their needs on the basis of urgency and impact. As the implementation of this initiative involved changing the way Dubai Customs (DC) operates and the way the employees work, the initiative encounter a number of obstacles internally and externally. These obstacles were addressed with the support of the leadership and the adoption of DC Change Management Methodology. It was difficult to have a paradigm shift across the organizationas traditionally most of the seizures were the result of the physical Inspections. As a result of the implementation of the Risk Engine, the inspectors only had to perform targeted inspections flagged by the Risk Engine. This was encountered by encouraging participation from Customs Officers to contribute effectively on building knowledge of Risk Engine by sharing tacit knowledge. It was achieved by mandating effective contribution of Customs Inspectors in Risk Profile creating and linking the profile effectiveness to Employee Performance KPIs. The cargo operations division put a constraint that the solution should provide flexibility to change the thresholds for risk levels. Also, the solution was required to allow inclusion, update and exclusion of risk profiles on the fly as well as real-time impact analysis. This issue was resolved by adding simulation capabilities to the solution that perfectly estimated the impact of changes to risk profiles. At the technology front, it was difficult to integrate multiple technologies and processes. These issues were addressed by building interfaces with careful analysis and effective change management and training. Also, the qualified resources were acquired and existing resources were trained to bridge the skill gap.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
As the risk engine was one the most important initiatives Dubai Customs (DC) undertook for the protection of society, enhancement of internal operation and employee satisfaction all the benefits were tracked and monitored rigorously. After the implementation of the Risk Engine, DC also benchmarked the Customs related Risk Management and Mitigation practices against other Customs Administrations and found that the benefits DC has realized were effective, sustainable and long-lasting. The Risk Engine aided DC in improving Risk Controlby facilitating automatic Risk Assessment for all Customs declarations and maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the intelligence information that was scattered throughout the organization before the implementation of the system. The Risk Engine ensured the minimization of the revenue leakage as all the under-valued declarations were flagged by the Risk Engine as the system is integrated with all the compliance systems in the organization such as valuation, tariff and inspection etc. The Risk Engine helped DC in protecting the health of the citizens as it helped detecting more than 8 million pieces of Tramadol worth approximately AED 100 million and 500,000 pieces of Captagon worth 25 million. In a most recent development, the Risk Engine helped seizing 30 tons of drugs in September 2013 that could have posed serious health threats if not detected by the Risk Engine.In 2012, the Risk Engine helped DC in protecting the environment and health of the citizens by proactively blocking the specific shipments coming from Japan after the earthquake as specific shipments were blocked and refer for inspection as soon as they arrive in Dubai. At the other hand the other Customs Administration completely blocked the shipments coming from Japan that resulted in major loss in trade. The Risk Engine facilitated the seizer of dangerous firearms and weapons including 1,380 pieces of knives and 42 cartons of firearms. In May2013, 371 pieces of unique old historical items were seized by DC after it was flagged by the Risk Engine. This ensured that Dubai ports are not used as a point of distribution of rare artifacts and international heritage. In September 2013, 4,380 pieces of electronic cigaretteswere also seized with the help of the Risk Engine. The Risk Engine also facilitated in the seizure of 215 pieces of African Ivory worth AED 15 million that would help curbing such practices in future and contributes in the protection of rare species and wild life. The Risk Engine assisted DC in increasing the compliance to87% in 2012 from 62% in 2009 with Customs rules and regulations. This was resulted in enhancing UAE’s image as a secure place for the importation of goods. This was also resulted in saving time and efforts of DC employees as they don’t have to spend approximately 15% of time on the verification of the declaration documents.In 2013, Dubai is ranked 4th in the report published by the World Bank in the category of Trading Across Borders as compared to 24th in 2007. This achieved is attributed to DC and its effective Declaration Management Systems including the Risk Engine. In 2013, 96.73% of the declarations were auto approved as the risk is assessed by the Risk Engine.This resulted in reducing the end-to-end service delivery life cycle and increases the numbers of seizures by 36% comparing to 2012. This had direct impact on the customer satisfaction that was increased to 81% in 2012 as compared to 76% in 2009. The customers were more satisfied with their experience with DC, as they do not face time delays in getting their declarations cleared. Since, the time of Customs clearance was reduced, the business did not have to maintain their inventory and occupy the warehouses for an extended period of time. This was resulted in reduced cost of doing business that ultimately benefited the consumer community. The IT Operations cost was reduced by 65% in 2012 as the Risk Engine was developed in a way that the intelligence department was able to take full control of the system and no IT intervention was required to make changes in risk thresholds, reporting and creation of the risk profiles. The Return on Investment (ROI) was calculated at 3.1% with payback period of 2.9 years.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Dubai Customs (DC) Risk Engine provides Risk Assessment as an internal service which is part of services related to Declaration Clearance service offered to the Customers. Also, many organizations in UAE public sector as well as some private companies in the UAE have seen this product fit their requirements for Risk Assessment solution. Therefore, Dubai Customs Risk Engine is seen as a product as well. Some of the public and private entities who have shown the interest in the risk engine and DC has shared the features of the Risk Engine and future plans for expansion. These entities include Turkish Customs (Q1, 2013), Saudi Customs (Q3, 2013), Kuwait Intelligence (Q1, 2013), Dubai Chamber of Commerce Q3, 2012), Emirates Islamic Bank (Q1, 2013), General Directorate of Residency & Foreign Affairs (Q2, 2012), Abu Dhabi Customs (Q3, 2013), Emirates Sky Cargo (Q1, 2013), Abu Dhabi Police (Q2, 2013), Commercial Bank of Dubai (Q2, 2013) and Dubai Economic Department (Q3, 2013) DC has already delivered proof of concept to three entities and further analyzing the requirements of the other entities. At the same time DC continue improving the Risk Engine feature and capabilities. Currently, the Risk Engine is being integrated with the Reconciliation function. In 2014, DC is planning to expand the integration with the Valuation function and in 2015 DC has the plans to further enhance the predictive modeling capabilities of the Risk Engine. The Risk Engine received a number of recognitions and appreciation from various local and international government organizations. The Director of Criminal Investigation at Dubai Police, Mr. Khalil Mansoori applauded the advancement of the risk assessment systems as it played a prominent role in unveiling several important cases. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce also showed intention of adopting the Risk Engine and Mr. Hamad Buamim, The Director General, Dubai Chamber of Commerce stated that “We are impressed with Dubai Customs Risk Management System and believe that it has potential to be deployed in Dubai Chamber of Commerce where it can help us to manage operational risks”. At the international front, the Risk Engine was lauded by the French Customs Attaché, Mr. Anthony Berlet by stating, “Dubai Customs Intelligence Department has set efficiency levels above any other Customs Services in the Middle East Region”. The Government of Kuwait also acknowledged the role of the Risk Engine as in the words of Mr. Abdullah Tarish, The Manager, Intelligence Office,Kuwait, “the sensitive information shared with us by Dubai Customs has helped us seize goods”. The Risk Engine was also recognized by the Government of Dubai as it was declared the best technical initiative for the Dubai Government Excellence Program in 2012. DC also ensures to improve the system on ongoing basis as the information within the Risk Engine is being enhanced and enriched every single day. The system intends to provide a long-term solution to deal with the problems of different government agencies are facing and help them fight the illegal trade and movement of goods.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
As Dubai Customs (DC) Project Management Methodology suggests, the organization learn from the success and failure of the initiatives. The Risk Engine proved to be a major success and the organization wants to learn from this initiative for the success of future initiatives. As this initiative spanned across various government entities it is important to establish a technical integration forum committee to identify various process and technology integration points. This also includes ensuring integrity, consistency across multiple projects and for their successful delivery. Along with technical integration change management, HR build, training and communication forums are also suggested. This will help the government entities in avoiding significant cost and rework. In these kinds of complex projects different government entities start joining the initiative as they become aware of the success and usefulness of the initiative. This can cause a lot of uncertainty and result in cost increase. It was learnt from the experience that a comprehensive stakeholder analysis is required and budget should be approved or flexible to deal with uncertain situation. A well thought out scope statement is also required to control scope creep. As the entire concept of the Risk Engine was new, the availability of the test and training data was a challenge. It is advisable to keep real data available for testing and simulation wherever possible. This will help the trainers demonstrating the real-life scenarios to the Customs Intelligence Officers. At the same time the trainers should liaise with the respective business users and SME up front to get all the business scenarios and prerequisite ready in time for the training. DC was fortunate to have the services of capable resources for this technically complex initiative. It is advisable to ensure that key resources are available to handle complex situations. Considering the sensitive nature of the information and intellectual property it is suggested to train the resource in-house rather than outsourcing this important initiative. Also, dedicated leadership is require within the organization who can own any such initiative as a lot of resistance will come within the organization and strong change management will be required. As the implementation of the Risk Engine was going to impact the way Customs Inspectors and Intelligence Officers work, it met with resistance. The inspectors and officers perceived this system as their replacement rather than enabler for informed decision making. It is vital, for any such initiative, the change management process should be started much earlier and all the stakeholders should be brought on board. All the stakeholders who might be impacted most by the change should be taken into confidence and the benefits of the change should be communicated to them. From DC perspective, the project teams learnt a lot from these lessons and taken into consideration all the issues outlined above in the similar projects. The implementation of the Risk Engine made DC a better, effective and high performance organization that enhanced the end-to-end service delivery lifecycle and made the national borders securer than ever.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Dubai Customs
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Ahmed AbdulSalam Kazim
Title:   Director  
Telephone/ Fax:   97144177070
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   nredxb@live.com  
Address:   Dubai Customs Headquarter
Postal Code:   63
City:   Dubai
State/Province:   Dubai

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