Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2013 Contents KALIFA SARAH CLYNE
While the Vision 2020 Action Plan has been
highly praised by economists, the Central Statistical
Office (CSO) has been labelled as a "complete mess."
This was the common thread found during remarks
by three of this country s economists on Thursday
afternoon at the launch of the book The Under-
achieving Society: Development Strategy and Policy
in T&T 1958-2008 at the National Library, Port-of-
The book, by former deputy governor of the Central
Bank, Terrence Farrell, takes a look at the economy
and society of the country over the past 50 years.
Commenting on the book, economist Norman
Girvan said it highlighted a culture of "non-policy"
taking place in T&T.
"There is so much waste and so many cost over-
runs, with so few consequences. The penalties of
wastage are nonexistent," Girvan said before address-
ing the issue of Vision 20/20 addressed in the book.
"Vision 20/20 was the single, most valuable policy
Saturday, May 4, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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WASA's head of corporate communications Ellen Lewis congratulates students of
Presentation College, Chaguanas, on reaching the semifinal round of the
authority's schools quiz.
The quarter-final round of the
Water and Sewerage Authority s
(WASA) annual national secondary
schools quiz competition, In the Know
with H2O---Adopt-A-River, has ended.
The competition is taking place at the
authority s Public Education Centre,
Farm Road, St Joseph.
The four schools making it into the
semi-final round of competition are:
•San Fernando Central Secondary
School (2012 winner)
•Presentation College, Chaguanas
•St Joseph s Convent, St Joseph
•Naparima Girls High School
The competition, which started in
January, involves secondary schools
from across T&T.
CSO a 'complete mess'
Former deputy Central Bank Governor Dr Terrence FarrellFarrell, second from right, engages, from left, Unit
Trust Corporation chairman Wendell Mottley, National Security Minister Emmanuel George and Finance
Minister Larry Howai during the launch of his book titled The Underachieving Society - Development
Strategy and Policy in T&T. The event was held on Thursday night. PHOTO: KEARRA GOPEE
exercise created in this country and it is a pity better
use was not made of it.
"It is the greatest single missed opportunity since
"Had Vision 2020 s framework been utilised per-
haps we would have been on a firmer, more self-
sustaining course than we have today," Girvan said.
Vision 2020 was an action plan and policy frame-
work developed under the People s National Move-
Also commenting on the book, economist Shelton
Nicholls described Vision 2020 as the most com-
prehensive and organised development plan the
country had ever undertaken.
"It is unfortunate that it was never allowed to take
He added that he would like to see the nation
really pay attention to a sustained approach to pro-
He also called on the country to pay better atten-
tion to data collection.
"We will not be able to make good decisions in
the absence of information."
While the author himself, Farrell, also spoke about
the merits of Vision 2020, he labelled the CSO a
"You cannot run a society without data or numbers,
but here we have a society producing less data today
than it was producing 30 years ago.
"The CSO is a complete mess," Farrell said.
He questioned the fact that the country had yet
to initiate a statistical institute despite advice from
foreign consultants several years ago.
Farrell also defended the provocative title of his
book, saying: "We certainly are not an overachieving
Four schools battle in
WASA quiz competition
Students of Naparima Girls' High School, San Fernando during the competition.
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