Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 3rd 2013 Contents BG6 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt OCTOBER 2013 • WEEK ONE
Part of the T&T Postal Corpo-
ration (TTPost) mandate when
it was established 14 years ago
included increasing operational
efficiency and decreasing
dependency on the treasury.
That mandate has not been met.
Chairman Dr Franklin Ali said the postal
board would be looking at "the basics: get it
right and get the quality of service up."
Ali was speaking on Monday following a
ceremony to hand over instruments of appoint-
ment to new board members. The event took
place at the Ministry of Public Utilities, Eliz-
abeth Street, St Clair.
Managing director Sheldon Cyrus said the
corporation did not have a board in place for
about a year.
Transporting CXC examination papers was
one business which TTPost lost as the Ministry
of Education now uses courier provider Uni-
versal Package Systems (UPS).
Commenting on this development, Cyrus
said: "The Ministry of Education went directly
to UPS with that one. We don t know why.
We normally would do it, but with this par-
ticular shipment, they went to UPS."
Though TTPost s annual budget is more
than $100 million, most of it goes to cover
salaries as its business is a "labour intensive
"Our salaries and wages would be about
$90 million because we have a big staff," Cyrus
He said the corporation is obligated to pro-
vide the service to the nation, which means
the staff must be in place to do it. The cor-
poration has a staff of 500.
Logistics also play an important role in
TTPost s operations, which mean the corpo-
ration must have the vehicles to fulfil its man-
The Business Guardian understands that 13
vehicles were not functioning and have been
parked up in the Piarco compound.
Responding to this, deputy chairman Harry
Bisram said, "What we started last year, we
got some PSIP (Public Sector Invest Pro-
gramme) funding for renewing the fleet. We
have adopted a vehicle repair and replacement
policy. We bought five vehicles at just over $2
million. It is a start toward modernisation of
the fleet. The corporation also bought new
motorcycles. Purchasing new vehicles doesn t
mean the maintenance of the old vehicles
would be neglected.
"We adopted a very strict repair and main-
tenance policy. We were outsourcing it and
we were not getting value for money and we
adopted certain strict criteria."
He said the problem of repairing vehicles
is not unique to TTPost as the Public Transport
Service Corporation has the same issue with
its buses. Regarding tendering and procurement
procedures in TTPost, Bisram said "there are
strong internal controls."
While TTPost has already launched the
postal code in Point Fortin, it will be launching
the code to other parts of T&T in the next
financial year. This means every building will
have a number, street name, district and postal
Cyrus said: "It is a big exercise. We partnered
with the various regional corporations across
the country for support."
There is a business plan in place to assist
the corporation in becoming a more viable
institution, said Bisram.
Part of the reviving the entity involves diver-
sification of its core product to new products,
such as courier services. The TTPak service,
used for online shopping, is now called EZone.
Bisram said it s prospering and comprises 20
per cent of TTPost s business.
Cyrus said this rebranding has made the
service more efficient.
Bisram said TTPost needs to be "restructured
away from the traditional business which
meant moving away from renting the service
centres to owning."
Bisram said unprofitable service centres are
being closed down.
Cyrus said TTPost s retail network "was not
structured in the most proficient manner
because we are paying some of the franchise
arrangements but not earning the revenue.
We will have to move away from those types
of arrangements into ones where it is more
profitable for us."
The challenges facing TTPost are the same
facing other postal agencies.
In a mid-September article, CNNMoney
reported that the United States Postal Service
was so cash-strapped, it could not afford to
buy a new fleet of vehicles to deliver mails,
so it issued an advertisement inviting expres-
sions of interest to rent vehicles for mail dis-
The BBC reported in late September that
the United Kingdom s 500-year-old Royal
Mail was looking privatise the mail service.
$90m of TTPost's
budget covers salaries About Dr Franklin Ali
• Chief executive officer of the Government
Human Resource Services Company Ltd
• Holds a Phd in entrepreneurship and is a
chartered manager fellow (CMgr FCMI) of
the United Kingdom's Chartered Manage-
• Part of the transformation team at
• Been in the sector for 15 years
• Did postal consultancy services
• Published a number of articles and books
on postal reform
• Represented T&T as the vice chairman of
the Universal Postal Union's Council of Ad-
ministration 2004-2006 and on several com-
mittees of the Caribbean Postal Union
DR FRANKLIN ALI
PHOTOS: MARCUS GONZALES
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