VIDEO: Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and Commerce speech – 17 Sep 2018

gtcic-advertAfra was part of a distinguished panel of speakers at a pre-budget forum discussing the subject ‘Understanding Where We Are…Today – Trinidad and Tobago Economy”. This event was held by the Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The secrecy of government-to-government or State projects are analysed with a conclusion that an educated population must be part of the diversity of views that become part of the modern national decision making process.

NOTE – Conrad Enill, Group CEO of Eastern Credit Union, did not appear at this meeting as billed. Mariano Browne, former Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Minister of Trade & Industry, spoke in that slot.

Programme Date: 17 September 2018
Programme Length: 00:15:00


Property Matters – Sandals MoU? Part three

Sandals/Beaches Tobago Illustrative Master Plan

The previous article delved into the published information on the three existing State-owned hotels and juxtaposed that with the proposals for a Tobago Sandals. Apart from the unsatisfactory position with the State’s existing hotel investments and the reluctance to give details, I also updated readers on the missing MoU for the Tobago Sandals project.

My dismal readings were based on the very limited publicly-available information, nothing else. I did not refer to any rumours or ‘inside information‘, my work is all based on the published record. The PM and his colleagues surely have ready access to a better quality and quantity of information than the public. That being the case, it begs the question as to what is really happening here.

If indeed, the Sandals project has significant upsides and benefits, those ought to have been estimated and shared by now. If the existing State-owned hotels are doing well, why aren’t the management agreements or accounts published? If those hotels are doing poorly, why are we persisting with that same model? Continue reading “Property Matters – Sandals MoU? Part three”

EVENT: BUSSIN’ FILES: The saga continues

EVENT: BUSSIN’ FILES: The saga continues

Allya, we back again. D pressure building and dese files lookin to buss open any time now. But allya know #DTingNOWStart. My colleagues and I just buss some files in our Hotel Facts Seminar, and kept a few of you at the edge of your seats. In this next rounds you might fall off—walk with some knee and elbow pads!

We’re back at the Big Black Box for the second installation of the Bussin’ Files series. In case you didn’t already know: We will be having a public talk about the government business—aka OUR business. I will be going in to more detail about what I found out from maccoin’ the people’s information and what all of this means for us moving forward in this current political and economic climate. I will also touch on what I believe should become our cultural default of recognising how the State business is our business and why we should mind it more.

And allya already know d bes’ part: Ah talkin’ fuh FREE! So, come join us at The Big Black Box on #33 Murray Street next Wednesday, 15th November, at 6:30 PM. Come take a drink, fall off d seat, and engage with me on the topics I have dedicated much of my time and energy to understanding.

Date: Wednesday, 15th November
Place: The Big Black Box, #33 Murray Street, Woodbrook
Doors will open at 6:00 PM.
Talk starts at 6:30 PM.
Cost: FREE! Everyone is invited.

Private State?

In Privacy Pros and Cons, I considered the Parliamentary debate around the recent SSA Amendment Bill. Most of that debate seemed to be concerned with the limits on the rights of citizens to privacy, but my concern was that there was precious little comfort being offered in terms of the secret conduct of our public affairs.

If we are to evolve to developed nation status it is essential that the State seriously reform its culture of obscurity and secrecy, that is the contention I am advancing here. Continue reading “Private State?”