JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A sum of $14.98 million is to be spent this year on the continued development of a National Identification System (NIDS) for Jamaica.
  • A baseline research was also completed that targeted a broad cross section of youth, professional, senior citizens and members of the Diaspora and a communication and Behaviour Change Strategy was developed.
  • The project was initially slated to run from September 2011 to April 2014, but was extended and is now slated to end in May 2018.

A sum of $14.98 million is to be spent this year on the continued development of a National Identification System (NIDS) for Jamaica.

The money has been made available in the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

The project aims to establish a reliable identification system for Jamaicans and other nationals resident in the country, with a unique National Identification Number (NIN) as the primary key identifier of a person in the system.

It is being implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister, through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Up to December 2015, achievements under the project included: the completion of preliminary drafting instructions for the NIDS Bill, which are to be approved and submitted to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, as well as the completion of draft legal provisions and regulations for approval submission.

A baseline research was also completed that targeted a broad cross section of youth, professional, senior citizens and members of the Diaspora and a communication and Behaviour Change Strategy was developed.

Additionally, the design and costing of the NIDS information and communications technology (ICT) architecture was completed, with specifications to facilitate implementation; a Cabinet submission was prepared and submitted at the executive level for approval to do Green Paper consultations; and an Institutional Framework Plan was developed with an organisational structure, functions, posts and related authority defined. An economic and cost benefit analysis report was also completed.

For the 2016/17 fiscal year, targets include: conducting a business process review of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) to assess the readiness to accommodate the NIDS; realignment of the operational processes of the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) to support implementation of the system; modification of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Work Permit process; and the facilitation of the linking of birth and death databases. A communication campaign is also to be launched.

The project was initially slated to run from September 2011 to April 2014, but was extended and is now slated to end in May 2018.