The Government yesterday (Tuesday, December 15) tabled the new National Identification System and Registration Act 2020 in Parliament.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the new Bill will improve the government’s ability to serve citizens. Notwithstanding, a major feature of the Bill is that it will be voluntary.
“This Bill seeks to improve the efficiency in establishing and verifying identity thereby improving business processes and service delivery and enhancing the government’s ability to implement a coherent e-government strategy and to support national security,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Prime Minister Holness said, the revised policy framework now provides for;
- A voluntary national identification system that will provide secure, reliable and convenient means of identification for citizens and persons ordinarily resident in Jamaica.
- The Administrative structure and powers and functions that are necessary for the establishment and maintenance of a national identification system.
- A robust and coherent legislative framework to treat with the collection processing, storage, retention usage and protection of personal data.
- The protocols, procedures and systems for identity verification, monitoring and compliance.
- An independent oversight body.
Following on his commitment to the Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Holness said the legislation will be referred to a select committee of the House and Senate for consideration and report.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness said: “The Bill will serve as the legal basis for the establishment of a robust, efficient and effective national identification system underpinned by a legal and regulatory framework that supports safe secure and reliable verification of identity, information for citizens of Jamaica and the persons ordinarily resident in Jamaica.”
Prime Minister Holness asserted that the Bill has the utmost potential to positively transform the efficacy and transparency of interactions between the State and citizen and residents with significant additional positive effects for private businesses.