Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 10th 2017 Contents viewpoint A25
Friday, March 10, 2017 guardian.co.tt
It is quite alarming, the reve-
lation that Petrotrin's financial
position is really much worse
than previously reported with
accumulated losses between 2011
and 2016 amounting to $4.5 bil-
lion and not $600 million.
According to International
Financial Reporting Standards
(IFRS), accumulated losses
should be written off in the
financial year in which it is in-
curred and not carried forward
as an asset in the balance sheet.
This amounts to cooking the
books and does not give a true
and fair view of the financial
situation of the company con-
The difference between $4.6
billion and $600 million is a
whooping $4 billion! The balance
sheet is a snapshot of a compa-
ny's financial position at a par-
ticular point in time.
According to the prudence
concept, the accountant should
always err on the side of caution
and use figures that will under-
state rather than overstate the
financial position of the firm. In
addition all profits should only be
reported when they are realised.
The under-reporting of losses
made by a firm has implications
for a number of stakeholders
including: creditors (who the
company owes money), current
and potential investors, company
management, supplies, cus-
tomers, government and labour
unions (in this case the OWTU,
which had been clamouring for a
management audit of the compa-
ny for some time now but appar-
ently to no avail).
Petrotrin is a most important
state company in T&T for there
to be misrepresentation of its
financial position because, in
addition to being a major foreign
exchange earner, a large percent-
age of the rest of the country
depend on its revenue earnings
If the present administration is
indeed serious about weathering
the current economic storm, is
serious about transparency and
accountability, someone must be
held accountable for this mis-
representation and be brought to
In addition, laws must be en-
acted to standardise the account-
ing reporting format of all state
enterprises and public corpora-
tions so that they indeed show a
true and fair account of the com-
pany's operations that are in line
with the prudence concept and
IFRS. It is imperative for our very
The response of TTUTA to the
current impasse at Ste Madeleine
Secondary School certainly leaves a
bitter taste in the mouths of many.
It is widely believed that the role
of the union representing the ma-
jority of teachers in the country
would be one of negotiation and
resolution of issues in a win/win
model or, if not, as close to that as
Encouraging teachers to leave
their charges and classrooms to
protest outside the parameters is
certainly not what we want to teach
our children. There is already too
much confrontation, strikes, work-
to-rule and go-slow action con-
tributing to the "doh care" attitude
and declining productivity in the
workforce. This is a bad precedent
Now, there are several questions
arising here from the action tak-
en by the protesting teachers and
TTUTA officials. For example, how
come only 14 of the 48 teachers on
staff were actively involved in the
protest action? Is it that just over
25 per cent of the staff support
TTUTA or are members and are
we sure that this protest is not the
action of these few teachers who
are disgruntled because they have
ulterior motives or personal issues
with the school's principal?
It is common knowledge now
that many workers in T&T have
very low work ethic and use their
collective strength to force em-
ployers or administration to allow
them to get away with indifferent
behaviours in the workplace. If
this is the case, TTUTA needs to
take a rain check on some of these
protests and not set a precedent
whereby union members will use
the union conveniently to get their
Wiretapping is one of the great
scourges and tragedies of the 21st
century, both locally and interna-
tionally. It is a modern-day tool of
the hardened criminal and of the
aggrieved spouse alike.
It is easily available to all and
sundry and as easy as buying ille-
gal guns or drugs.
It's trafficked by well-placed
employees of telecom suppliers
and or security agencies who put
out big advertisements denying
the existence or possibility of peo-
ple's phones being tapped.
It is something that can bring
down a company worth billions
of dollars in a very short period of
time, once this is discovered and
When all hell breaks loose,
expect the exposed Telecom pro-
vider, security agency or Internet
supplier to quickly cast blame on
their offending employee to save
their multi-billion dollar invest-
I would like to express
my heartfelt thanks to
the Gasparillo Police
Station. I reported a
matter over the phone
to officer Swahra Renne
and within 30 minutes,
a team of officers re-
sponded and a perpe-
trator was apprehended.
Now this is service from
a great team of officers!
CLERK TYPIST II
NATIONAL LIBRARY AND
of losses has
implications for many
Illegal wiretapping a serious issue
All's not right with
Education Minister Anthony Garcia greets Joy Arjoonsingh, principal of the
Ste Madeleine Secondary School, during his visit at the school on Tuesday.
Teachers of the school staged a protest calling for her removal.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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