Gov’t to Accelerate National Identification System

Photo: File Prime Minister the Most. Hon. Andrew Holness (right), having a light exchange with Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, in the House, yesterday (May 24). The Prime Minister made his contribution to the 2016/17 Budget Debate.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will be seeking to speed up the implementation of a National Identification System (NIDS).
  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will be seeking to speed up the implementation of a National Identification System (NIDS).
  • The Prime Minister argued that with the increased use of technology, including smartphones, very soon, most transactions will move to online platforms.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will be seeking to speed up the implementation of a National Identification System (NIDS).
He informed that grant funding for the project has been secured and some development work has started.

“I have directed that all the legislative, administrative and funding processes be immediately accelerated including public education and consultations,” the Prime Minister said in his contribution to the Budget Debate in Gordon House on May 26.

NIDS, which has been in development since 2009, will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to capture and store personal identity information for citizens and persons resident in Jamaica. It will become the primary source for identity assurance and verification, and will result in improved governance and management of social, economic and security programmes.
Noting the importance of the undertaking, the Prime Minister said that every Jamaican must have a unique and reliable national identity, with secure authentication, and must be known to the State.

“Ultimately, this will all contribute to the growth agenda through improved efficiency in Government as plans will be based on accurate and individualised data.
He noted further that “if all the structural benchmarks agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are to be achieved, especially those dealing with the efficiency of Government using online technology and databases and the distribution of benefits under our social safety net programme, then we must be able to know exactly who the people in the database are without duplication.”

The Prime Minister argued that with the increased use of technology, including smartphones, very soon, most transactions will move to online platforms.

“A national unique ID will support this, and enable the Government to have a very accurate real-time census for planning purposes,” he pointed out.

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