Private sector groups calls for political consensus on national ID system

Private sector groups calls for political consensus on national ID system

Monday, April 15, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

THREE powerful private sector groups, while respecting last Friday's court ruling on the proposed National Identification System (NIDS), say the underlying broad policy objectives that were sought to be achieved are still of great significance and urgent in modernising the Jamaican society and ensuring that each citizen is accounted for in our advancement towards the achievement of Vision 2030.

The groups — Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, and the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters' Association – added their voices to the NIDS debate in a joint press release yesterday.

The Constitutional Court, in a 309-page written judgement, ruled last Friday that panel declared that the Bill is “unconstitutional, null and void insofar as it is intended to make compulsory the taking of biometric and other data so as to provide a national identification number and card for every citizen and resident of Jamaica. The involuntary nature of the policy infringes guaranteed constitutional rights. Furthermore, the statute seeks to prevent access to services both public and private, or to make possible the denial of such services, to citizens who fail to obtain the said national identification.”

The private sector groups said while the court has properly invalidated the NIDS legislation, there is political consensus on the necessity for implementing a national identification law.

“We strongly urge both political parties to immediately commence consultations, with a view to settling the contentious differences in the legislation and avoiding the provisions which offend our Constitution, so as to return a Bill to the House and enable a smooth and early passage.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon