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Pilot for NIDS in January 2019

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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ROLL-OUT of the national identification system (NIDS) is slated to begin with a pilot project in January 2019, focusing on civil servants.

This was disclosed by acting chief technical director in the Office of the Prime Minister Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, who noted that it is a deliberate move to use this wide cross section of individuals who would provide “a good feel of how to enrol people islandwide”.

“Public sector employees are also a good reflection of our communities… so we felt it was a [suitable strategy to work with this cohort for the pilot],” Lynch-Stewart said during a press conference at Jamaica House yesterday.

The NIDS, which is being facilitated under the National Identification and Registration Bill, will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of identity information for all Jamaicans.

Under the system, each citizen will be provided with a randomised nine-digit national identification number, which they will have for life.

Explaining how enrolment in the system will work, programme director for NIDS Warren Vernon said individuals, as prescribed by law, will be required to give their full name, date of birth, and biometric information, which includes fingerprints, facial image, and a manual signature.

“Upon registration at the registration centre, you will go through a very rigorous assessment or verification process to ensure that the data is… clean and that the content of what we are recording is, in fact, unique to that individual,” he said.

The National Identification and Registration Bill was passed in the Senate on Monday with 168 amendments, and will return to the House of Representatives for approval.

With anticipated funding of US$68 million from the Inter-American Development Bank, the Government intends to put the NIDS infrastructure and systems in place over the next 12 months, beginning with the pilot project.

This is expected to be followed by the national roll-out in September 2019, over a period of three to four years.

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

— JIS

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