Unprecedented consultations on NIDS Bill — OPM

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Director of Communications and Public Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister Robert Morgan says the consultative process for the National Identification System (NIDS) “has been robust and unprecedented”.

“I think I can objectively say that the NIDS Bill has had more consultations than any other law that has ever been passed in the history of Jamaica. We have been consulting since 1979. We even tabled a Bill in the year 2000,” he said.

Morgan was addressing a meeting of the Rotary Club of downtown Kingston at the Hotel Four Seasons in St Andrew yesterday.

The NIDS, which seeks to establish a reliable identification system for Jamaica, is supported by the National Identification and Registration Bill.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the 168 amendments made to the Bill by the Senate.

During his presentation, Morgan sought to clarify inaccuracies and allay concerns relating to NIDS.

The communications director outlined that between 2012 and 2016, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) provided more than $30 million to facilitate further consultations on that Bill.

He noted that over time, the Government has been engaging in consultations with representatives of civil society, youth groups, members of the Opposition, and the business and banking community to garner feedback.

Morgan said now that the NIDS Bill has been passed in both Houses of Parliament, the consultative process will continue with the Regulations of the Bill, which “opens up another door for consultations with people like Rotary Club members (and other stakeholders)”.

He also presented a 14-page document listing all the consultations that the Government has had for the NIDS Bill since June 2017.

“To suggest that the Government has been deaf to the calls of the people, and has not been consulting, I think fails the truth test, because we have been consulting,” he asserted.
He noted that the Government has had public education across various media platforms “to educate Jamaicans as to what was coming”.

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