Can't you simply call stat -c?
Read in terminal:
%x Time of last access
%X Time of last access as seconds since Epoch
%y Time of last modification
%Y Time of last modification as seconds since Epoch
%z Time of last change
%Z Time of last change as seconds since Epoch
Should be enough to get you started.
pato@toaster:/tmp$ touch privatepart
pato@toaster:/tmp$ stat -c %y privatepart
2011-09-23 01:11:42.389941534 -0500
pato@toaster:/tmp$ stat -c %Y privatepart