The Importance of Memory

The Importance of Memory

I am writing this article on Friday 13th October 2017, which is the first time T&T has had a national holiday to honour the memory of our First Peoples.

These holidays are important, not only in the literal sense of having a day-off, but also marking certain critical events so that the collective memory could be preserved. That process of intentionally preserving important memories is seminal to the development of a civilisation. This extends to our business and professional life, even being decisive for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Our official record is so often vacant, by design, that one can scarcely assess the real situation or reliably make projections as to the likely outcomes of proposals. The Public Sector is a huge part of the national business, so it is critical how that sector conducts itself and how its ‘lessons learned’ are recorded. Ours is a sorry story of the public sector conducting itself outside the bounds of the law and good sense, not to mention actively suppressing or distorting reality.
Continue reading “The Importance of Memory”

VIDEO: “Bussin’ Files” at The Big Black Box on Wednesday 11 October 2017

This is the talk I did at the inaugural edition of the “Bussin’ Files” series at The Big Black Box in Port of Spain on Wednesday 11 October 2017. I discussed, the importance of information; our attitude to the truth; the deliberate concealment of facts; the Bernard and Uff Reports into construction sector misconduct; the CL Financial bailout; our false sense of superiority and some other matters. Video courtesy PixelPlay Media Limited.

 

Secret Society

foiaThe State is the dominant agent in our national economy, which is the most vibrant in the Caribbean. It is therefore essential for us to understand how the State works so that we can better understand, or even plan, our interaction with that dominant party. Given the role T&T plays in the wider Caribbean, those concerns extend beyond our country to our region.

In order for us to understand how the State works, we must get quality information in the required quantities. We must also have the right to request further information from public bodies so that we can examine particular matters more closely – see Sidebar below.

This country’s Integrity Framework comprises elements such as –

  • The Integrity Commission (IC), which is responsible for monitoring the integrity of Public Officials;
  • The Freedom of Information Act (FoIA), which gives the right to ask for unpublished information;
  • The Auditor General, the Independent body monitoring the financial reporting of Public Bodies;
  • The Investments Division of the Ministry of Finance, monitoring the operations of State Enterprises;
  • The two Parliamentary Accounts Enterprises Committees, providing Parliamentary oversight of Public Bodies

This sustained examination of our country’s Integrity Framework is directed towards an enhanced level of information on how our nation’s Public Bodies are functioning. Continue reading “Secret Society”