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Published 6th August 2006, 3:56pm

The Cayman Islands Post Office (CIPO) brought two experts in the field of Terminal Dues to Cayman to offer advance training to its accounts staff.

Terminal Dues is a system whereby postal administrations worldwide pay each other for the delivery of mail, most often calculated on a net imbalance. For example, if the Cayman Islands send Barbados more mail than they from receive from Barbados, then Cayman Islands would have to pay Barbados the difference.

Although Patricia Barnwell from the US Postal Service and Diane McElvaney from Royal Mail regularly train postal administrations throughout the Caribbean on the subject of Terminal Dues, it was their first visit to the Cayman Islands.

The two Terminal Dues experts trained Deputy Postmaster General - Finance and Human Resources - Ann James, Assistant Postmaster General - Finance - Carlene Ebanks, Accounts Officer IV Lasara Fredrick IV, Accounts Officer II Erlene Zelaya-Diaz and, Postal Officer Delcia Solomon. On the first day, all senor managers attended an introductory course on Terminal Dues.

Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow explained that Terminal Dues is unlike any other accounting system. It is unique to postal administrations and even has its own currency, known as SDR Special Drawing Rights, and the rules change with each Congress of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

The changes to the Terminal Dues system at a congress in Bucharest, Romania, in 2004 came into effect this past January, making this good timing for CIPO to offer further training to its accounting staff.

"The training had twofold benefits because we now have more accounts people exposed to the Terminal Dues system of payment and Ms Barnwell and Ms McElvaney worked very closely with Ms Fredrick, the accounts officer responsible for Terminal Dues, to help streamline some of our procedures. They gave us important insights on mail trends that we need to stay aware of that may negatively affect our accounts," Ms Glasgow said.

Ms Glasgow noted that she considers training her staff a major priority. "We hold regular training sessions 10 months of the year on financial and operational procedures. We do this to keep procedures and regulations fresh in the minds of all our staff."