Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Tuesday (March 21), tabled a Bill in Parliament to establish the National Identification and Registration Authority.
The proposed National Identification and Registration Act, 2017 and the Authority’s formation are in keeping with the National Identification Project, which Mr. Holness reintroduced last year.
The Registrar General’s Department (RGD), which will be transformed into the Authority, will have responsibility for the project’s implementation.
Mr. Holness, who tabled the Bill during his 2017/18 Budget Debate presentation at Gordon House, said it would facilitate the establishment and regulation of a system for the registration, verification and authentication of the identity of citizens and other persons residing in Jamaica.
Additionally, he said it would facilitate the establishment of a National Civil and Identification Database, to generate a National Identification Card, and for “connected matters”.
The Government has already prepared a detailed work plan and is negotiating funding through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). It is anticipated that a pilot will be implemented by September next year.
“I believe this Bill is consistent with the Constitution in that it provides for the identification of citizens, such that the State would be able to provide for their freedom and security. This is another
Bill which I would entreat to this House and ask for its speedy approval,” Mr. Holness said.