Richard Brennan

Head Of Secretariat, Oceania Customs Organisation

MR. Richard Brennan has been involved in law enforcement for over thirty years, the last fourteen of those in the Pacific. In 1989 he commenced a career as a Police officer in the Northern Territory Police Force spending equal time between rural and major stations as OIC including several years in CIB. As OIC of Alice Springs Police station he introduced intelligence driven initiatives into the Organisation. In 2005 Richard moved to the Australian Customs Service managing their investigations section in Victoria, and was seconded to the Australian Federal Police identity crime task force in which he identified an international drug smuggling ring through a false drivers license and later oversaw a tobacco smuggling investigation involving significant organized crime entities in Victoria at that time, it resulted in a submission to the executive to become much more enforcement oriented and use proactive methods of investigation to assist in border enforcement. In 2010 he undertook a placement with Australian Aid to establish an Audit section and an investigations section in Kiribati Customs service but found himself running Customs six months later.

After Kiribati he moved to the Solomon Islands as Deputy Comptroller of Revenue under the Regional Assistance Mission and through enforcement and compliance processes secured over $180M in leaked revenue in two years. He moved to Tonga three years later under an Australian Aid program and successfully lobbied them to place a Tongan national as the Head of Customs and close down the assistance as “they clearly had the skills to manage their own Organisation”.

In 2014 , Richard took up a position with Australian Aid to assist the Nauru Government to establish a modern Customs agency to compliment a modern tax system being introduced; in 2019 he became the Head of Secretariat for the Oceania Customs Organisation in which he strengthened ties with PIDC and PICP under the regional law enforcement partnership agreement in which they collectively established a transnational crime desk top exercise in support of the Boe Declaration on regional security, he also introduced the UNODC Grids platform to the Pacific and pushed the APAN intelligence network onto the 23 nation membership of the Organisation whilst overseeing the roll out of the Pacific Small Craft reporting app’ supported by the ABF.

He holds a Master of Customs and International Customs law, Master of International Revenue Administration, Master of Social change and Development, Graduate Diploma in Project Management, Bachelor of Business Management, and Diploma of Human Resource Management.