Government Building Systems to Protect Citizens – PM Holness

Photo: Richard Hamilton Prime Minster the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government is acting in the interest of the citizens in moving to advance a national system which identifies every Jamaican.
  • The Prime Minister says a large part of the solution to formalize the economy and society is harnessing the benefits of technology as a catalyst in the transforming Jamaica.
  • He said that the government is cognizant of the challenges that exist as well as the trust issues that Jamaicans may have as it relates to their information.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government is acting in the interest of the citizens in moving to advance a national system which identifies every Jamaican.

The Prime Minister says a large part of the solution to formalize the economy and society is harnessing the benefits of technology as a catalyst in the transforming Jamaica.

“What we are doing with creating now a unique ID, digital platform for communication and exchange of information for government, and using technology to enforce law enforcement and increase the speed of doing business is one part of the general strategy of public sector transformation. So the loan that Minister Shaw signed today is a firm step in that direction,” stated Prime Minister Holness.

He said that the government is cognizant of the challenges that exist as well as the trust issues that Jamaicans may have as it relates to their information.

Mr. Holness contends that Jamaicans have a right to the protection of their information through Government, however they should not be anonymous.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that the government has not always been scrupulous with people’s information or how they’ve used it but that, it is not an excuse for the government not to move the society into the digital age.

“Whether it is in fighting corruption, in law enforcement or in digitizing the society, the government must act responsibly and scrupulously and with integrity. So the real issue is not so much the digitization – the use of technology, the real issue is how do we get government to act in an integrous way and to guarantee the citizen the protection of their data,” said Mr. Holness.

The Prime Minister affirmed his belief that the way in which the government has acted and has used its elected authority, should give some confidence that Jamaica is maturing in terms of its governance and laws.

He also stated that his government is building the systems and institutions necessary to protect the citizens.

“The government is acting in the interest of the citizens. I think that is the clear message that must be sent. So whether it is in national security, justice and supporting the judiciary, the government is acting in the interest of the citizen, whether it is in housing and land settlement, the government is acting in the interest of the citizen and whether it is increasing the efficiency of the public sector, the speed at which we do business and giving the citizen an identity, the government is acting in the best interest of the citizen. That is what we are doing, nothing nefarious, nothing to in any way erode the privacy of the citizen. What we are trying to do is to strengthen the government so that we can better serve you,” declared Mr. Holness.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston yesterday (February 27) at a press briefing following the conclusion of a two day Caribbean Annual Governors meeting staged by the Inter American Development Bank (IDB).

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