Jamaican team to study national ID system in South Korea

BY JEDIAEL CARTER
Observer staff reporter
carterj@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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As Jamaica looks to establish a National Identification System (NIDS), a 12-member government team will leave for South Korea on Friday to study best practices from the Asian country's identification system.

The group will consist of members from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Tax Administration Jamaica, the Registrar General's Department, e-Gov, the Electoral Commission, Office of the Prime Minister, and Jamaica Post.

They are scheduled to participate in study tours of several Korean government agencies, including the National Computing and Information Service, Korea Minting, Security Printing and ID Card Operating Corporation, Community Service Centre, and National Election Commission to grasp Korea's advanced national identification and resident registration systems, based on e-Government, at firsthand.

“The South Korean Government is way down the wickets with NIDS; they have done this long ago, so we have the opportunity and we're very grateful to not only learn best practices but also learn from mistakes that they had made,” said Jacqueline Lynch Stewart, chief technical director for planning, monitoring and evaluation division in the Office of the Prime Minister.

“So we're going to be really exposed to the best practices in South Korea and they will share with us what they think we should not do, based on their own experiences of their national identification system,” she continued.

The week-long tour comes following the signing of a technical cooperation agreement negotiated between the Korean Government and the Inter-American Bank (IDB) on behalf of the the Jamaican Government.

Under this agreement, the second of it's kind, the Korean Government will also provide a US$600,000 grant towards the implementation of the NIDS project. A similar agreement was brokered in 2011, when the Korean Government provided technical assistance during the first phase.

Charge d'affaires in the embassy of the Republic of Korea, Young Gyu Lee expressed confidence in the importance of NIDS.

“The successful establishment of the NIDS will definitely lay the groundwork for efficiency and precision of all Government services and bring with it elements of convenience and fairness that will improve the lives of Jamaican people. I sincerely hope that, thanks to the invitation to the delegation, the NIDS will be in full blossom as scheduled.”

The first phase of the NIDS will be implemented in September 2018, provided the relevant legislation is passed. Under the system, each Jamaican will be assigned a unique nine-digit number and be issued an identification card. The NIDS, in addition to asserting identity, will move to streamline the country's verification process.


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