Transformed RGD to Manage National Identification System

Photo: Donald De La Haye Acting Chief Technical Director, Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, addresses journalists during a press conference at Jamaica House on Wednesday (June 21) to address matters regarding the proposed National Identification System (NIDS), which is expected to provide a comprehensive and secure structure to capture and store the personal identity information of citizens.

Story Highlights

  • The roll-out and management of the National Identification System (NIDS) will be handled by a new agency, the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), which will replace the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and will provide more enhanced services.
  • Speaking with JIS News, Acting Chief Technical Director at the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, explained that the Government decided to transform the existing RGD in order to bring civil registration and identity management under one roof.
  • The NIRA will capture biometric data such as fingerprint, footprint, signature and/or facial photographs and all other activities under the NIDS project.

The roll-out and management of the National Identification System (NIDS) will be handled by a new agency, the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), which will replace the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and will provide more enhanced services.

NIDS will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to capture and store the personal identity information of citizens. Under the system, which will have anti-fraud features, every Jamaican will have a unique identification number.

Speaking with JIS News, Acting Chief Technical Director at the Office of the Prime Minister, Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, explained that the Government decided to transform the existing RGD in order to bring civil registration and identity management under one roof.

“So the decision was taken that it made sense to marry civil registration with identity management… so, think of it as one roof or organisation with two major divisions within it,” she said.

The NIRA will capture biometric data such as fingerprint, footprint, signature and/or facial photographs and all other activities under the NIDS project.

All the activities that RGD currently undertakes will continue; that is, birth, death, marriage and any other major events.

“RGD now provides birth certificates to newborns, but in the new environment, under NIRA, they will not only be giving new babies birth certificate, but also their national identification number (NIN).

So the babies will get their NIN from day one, and those of us who are no longer babies are going to have to register and enrol to get ours,” Mrs. Lynch-Stewart pointed out.

She said the birth certificate and the NIN will both be relevant and utilised. “The national identification number is given once you have come into the world, while the certificate tells you when you came into the world,” she explained.

Mrs. Lynch-Stewart told JIS News that an integral part of the overall project involves examination and re-engineering of business processes to make them more customer-centric “because at the end of the day, the citizens must benefit from this initiative in a meaningful way”.

Jamaican citizens and legal residents will be able to enrol for the NIDS at centres across the island on a phased basis.

The first phase of enrolment is set for September 2018, and the national roll-out will be April 2019, based on the passage of the legislation.

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