Court embracing technology Central Bank turns a profit
The judiciary is moving into the technological age in a major way.
Supreme Court registrar Barbara Cooke-alleyne said yesterday the court was taking several steps to improve efficiency by using technology.
Speaking to members of the media after a Caribbean Leadership Development Network project at the Ann Hill School, Cooke-alleyne said that the Supreme Court had recently received special recording equipment from both the British High Commission and the US Embassy.
She said this would assist the magistrates since the evidence would be recorded, allowing them to do more cases in a day.
Cooke-alleyne explained that she was also excited about a High Court operating system review which was being sponsored by the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) project.
Additionally, the Supreme Court registrar said there were plans to have a case management system by the next year, which would allow people to forward documents via email as well as make payments online. ( AD)
According to the 2016 annual report, which was transmitted to Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in late March, and has now been released to the public, the bank’s income from foreign sources fell by $6.6 million last year.
What’s more, “the situation was adversely impacted by the need to liquidate securities because of the demand for foreign exchange”, the report revealed.
On this score, an examination of the bank’s balance sheet showed that when compared to 2015, its reserve of external assets fell by more than $313.3 million. Of this amount, the bank reduced its current accounts and deposits held in foreign banks by more than $112 million, while investments in foreign bonds and debentures were cut by $139.1 million.
Based on the financial statements, its reduced appetite for foreign holdings came simultaneous with its heavy spending on Government treasury bills and debentures, which created money for the Freundel Stuart administration.
The large take-up of Government paper was so prevalent between 2015 and last year, that the Central Bank purchased more than $1.7 billion in treasury bills and debentures in that period, a $702.7 million increase.
It is because of this that the bank was able to record a profit in its financial statements, Acting Governor Cleviston Haynes reported. Total income increased by $25.7 million.
“The bank recorded a profit of $27.1 million during 2016. While the bank’s foreign income was depressed by low coupons and the decline in foreign exchange reserves available for investment, revenue from domestic securities more than compensated,” Haynes said.
The bank added that its domestic assets “grew significantly, as the bank provided liquidity funding to Government through the purchase of treasury bills, treasury notes and debentures”.
“The statutory lending limit in advances to Government was $264 million in accordance with Government’s estimates of revenue for the fiscal year and amounts outstanding were within the statutory limit,” the report stated.
When the fall in overseas earnings was added to other sources of foreign holdings, including more than $177 million held with the International Monetary Fund, the report showed that Barbados’ foreign reserves fell by more than $239 million in 2016.
Last week, when he reported on the economy’s performance between January and September, Haynes said the reserves fell by $133.9 million. This compared to $27 million in the same period last year.
It’s not just at home or even just at school, it’s everywhere. Still, there are a lot of parents who could do better, especially for young children. I think it’s how society is changing. We are living in a different era. Nobody knows how to deal with social media and that is changing the behaviour of a lot of our young people. It’s not that parents are not setting the right examples, I think it’s more media and technology – which is vast and open – that is to blame. Still, parents must monitor their children’s activities. It could be due to families, but it’s not just that, as we have media, and social media especially, to blame. There are some families who behave differently, but they may not think it is wrong. Yes, because everything starts at home and while the school environment also matters, it is a parent’s duty to guide their children in their initial stages. To some extent, yes. When children see their parents or siblings behaving a certain way, then they mimic what they see.