Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 12th 2017 Contents viewpoint A23
Friday, May 12, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Auditor General's report
almost 'a big joke'
With respect to leadership, basic
management theory speaks to the organ-
isation having a vision or long term goal,
possessing a mission which seeks to focus
on the immediate term or seeks to focus
on what is our core business. If we im-
agine that we have the requisite resources
in place to execute our plan then the other
functions of management come into play.
Today, however, I wish to focus on the
function of management which speaks
to controlling and to make the point that
regardless of how much planning and
organising goes into a particular project,
process or organisation without an effec-
tive control function and effective situa-
tional leadership the entire effort shall be
doomed to fail.
With respect to the Auditor's General
report for the fiscal year, which ended
September, 2016, the State saved $10
billion because of ministries and state
enterprises cut backs. This was due to
the fact that the State's total revenue for
2016 was $60.31 billion but it only spent
$56.57 billion which represented a surplus
of $3.74 billion. (Sunday Guardian, May
7, 2017.) The article went on to speak to
the details of cutbacks by the Ministry of
Finance, Ministry of National Secu-
rity, the Office of the Prime Minister
and the Office of the President. But
much more needs to be done.
On the flip side, however, the Daily
Express of Monday, May 8, 2017, in an
Editorial captioned "Delinquency from
the top," speaks to "Massive failure to
collect large sums of money owed to the
Government; money paid without goods
received; million-dollar rentals for property
left unoccupied and unused; multimillion
dollar expenditure without supporting
documentation; unapproved over-expendi-
ture; unclear responsibility for billion-dollar
projects; persistent failure to file financial
statements as required by law; refusal to
make information available to the Auditor
General. And the list goes on."
We must commend the Ministry of
Finance for its success in cutting back ex-
penditure by some $10 billion dollars; we
are aware that oil and gas prices are de-
pressed at this time and that production
had been down; we are aware that efforts
are being made to arrest this shortfall
but with the current state of affairs as
outlined by the Auditor General, much
more needs to be done. We just cannot go
on this way! Short of giving the Auditor
General more teeth to bring offenders to
book in the form of more timely reporting,
Government must ensure that delinquent
entities suffer some kind of penalty or loss
or else this charade will simply continue.
Perhaps instead of annual reporting
these entities should be made to report to
the Auditor General on a quarterly basis
(every three months) so that corrective
action can be taken. Legislation to this ef-
fect is required. Delinquent entities must
suffer some kind of penalty.
The Auditor General's report is now a
ritual. It seems to be the biggest joke in
town! All the work which goes into this re-
port becomes a waste of time. The report
is laid in Parliament. It is debated but the
question becomes...what corrective action
is taken? Does this equate to accounting
to the taxpayer?
A standard of performance must be set
(be it timelines, quotas etc). In the inter-
vening period performance/output must
monitored in order to detect deviations
from standards or targets and if so de-
tected, corrective action must taken to put
things back on track. This is the control
function at work and is the hallmark of
Hope you can deliver, TSTT
Open Letter to TSTT,
So you have bought over Massy Com-
munications. To be honest, the customers
you have inherited are quite concerned.
While I suppose no service provider sat-
isfies 100 per cent of its customers, I must
say that most of Massy's customers have
been very satisfied with their service.
Massy emails their customers whenev-
er they anticipate a disruption, however
slight. When the service is restored they
would email their customers thanking
them for their patience. Calls to the com-
pany by the customer for assistance with
problems pertaining to their personal in-
ternet, were always handled courteously.
TSTT, please do not disappoint. Please
continue to deliver to the customers you
have inherited, the same quality service.
WASA and living behind God's back
Every Trini to the bone citizen under-
stands the expression "Living behind God's
back." It means that you are living far into
the bush or up the side of a mountain.
There are people who choose to live
thus far. Allegedly starting off as squat-
ters deep in the bush or digging out the
hillsides, they suddenly expect, years later,
that they must have pipe borne water. Am
I telling a lie here?
After toting plenty buckets of water, 30
years later, WASA is at fault for not giving
them pipe borne water. Nobody sent them
to live behind God's back. They took them-
It is to be expected that a little more
than the usual effort would be necessary
to remedy the water situation. Burning
tyres, stopping traffic and getting on igno-
rant is helping no one. It has nothing to do
with politics, nothing to do with discrimi-
nation. The people at WASA never asked
you to live where ever. We are living in a
Third World country where pipe borne wa-
ter does not flow like on TV. And, anyway,
remember this is the dry season.
Which reminds me that electrical
connections are also very scarce way out
there because of the same reason. Living
behind God's back where nobody sent you.
Piarco Airport disgrace
On May 4, at 12.10 pm, while collect-
ing three guests at Piarco Airport, what
seemed to be an employee or contractor
of the Airport Authority in and fluores-
cent orange vest, driving BBN641, almost
knocked me down on the zebra crossing.
Speeding towards me, he stopped
abruptly four inches away, almost hitting
me.The driver was half way onto the cross-
ing when he hit the brakes, even though
we were making eye contact long before
we met on the crossing.
I asked the young driver if he had not
notice the crossing and he responded by
telling me that he would come out and
beat my mother's ----!
I accepted his offer and he sped off. All
this was three visitors first experience in
Trinidad. All was recorded on the security
cameras. A report was made to airport
security and to the Airport Authority who
have chosen to ignore. Does anyone have
a contact in the airport authority?
Vice President of
the T&T Incoming Tour
Saga of incompetence continues
The management of Petrotrin has
confirmed to the nation that it lacks the
managerial competence and experience
to manage the local oil industry's flagship,
and probably most wasteful, enterprise.
Daily, citizens are treated to the contin-
uing saga of incompetence and inefficien-
cy at this money pit.
The company is not only incompetent
but is also adept at dissembling, seeking
to mislead the population about the ex-
tent of the most recent oil spill. Even if
one accepts the company's claim as to the
quantum of oil leaked into the Gulf (300
barrels), that still equates to 15,000.
The question may well be asked: what
structures are in place for regular moni-
toring and reporting on the condition of its
assets to avoid such occurrences and to
minimise environmental impact if it ever
The only solution to the problem is an
internal investigation to be completed
within a specified time frame of no more
than two weeks, after which the negligent
parties must be made to pay a substantial
penalty. In the absence of that, there will
never be any solution to the problems we
Unfortunately, that will not happen in
Participants during a candlelight vigil staged by The Voice of Lupus Fountain in commemoration of World Lupus
Day on Wednesday night. PHOTO: KERWIN PIERRE
WORLD LUPUS DAY
A Pakistani Muslim recites the Qur'an besides a grave of her relative on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat, at a
graveyard in Karachi, Pakistan, yesterday. Muslims across the country observe the holy Shab-e-Barat, the
night of fortune, gathering at mosques offer nightlong special prayers besides visiting graves of their near
and dear ones, as they seek God's blessings for the departed souls. AP PHOTO
NIGHT OF FORTUNE
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