Making successful management reforms and employing modern change management techniques requires striking a balance between employee satisfaction and operational performance. In this endeavour, Sri Lanka Customs has found that the incentive of rewards takes the centre stage between operational performance and employee satisfaction. This case study dissects various elements involved in a 150-year old, ‘pay half the catch’ customs rewards scheme that was approved by the Parliament, but has yet to be exposed to the outside modern world. Is Customs an enforcer, collector, protector or a facilitator? Is reward an indispensable feature or a management evil? Is the enforcer role compromised due to the exorbitance of the reward money? Does the facilitator role make a hole in the enforcer role? What are the criticisms? Does the interest in rewards result in increasing harassment of importers and exporters? Could there be reforms?
Both the internal point of view of the employees and the external point of view of the stakeholders are surveyed in this exploratory case study to begin the discussion on reforms. Could this live example help other Customs administrations to rethink or to reformulate their theories on enforcement and incentives? These are matters discussed by a Customs officer who has worked for more than thirty years in this organization as an investigator and an inquiry officer.Global Trade and Customs Journal