January 5, 2021
Written by Tasha Ann Miller
Chairman of the Joint Select Committee on the National Identification and Registration Act, Minister Delroy Chuck, says members of the public are invited to make suggestions on the new identification system but it does not guarantee that they will be accepted.
He was speaking at today’s sitting of the Committee where a detailed breakdown of the National Identification System (NIDs) was provided by the project directors and officials from the Office of the Prime Minister.
Public Relations Manager for NIDs, Richard Delapenha, says the virtual upcoming town halls later this month will explain the contents of the bill to the public while collecting feedback. The town halls will include key groups such as churches and the diaspora.
The National Identification and Registration Act, 2020 clearly states that participation in the scheme is voluntary for qualified persons. Only citizens and individuals temporarily residing in Jamaica are eligible to apply for the identification number (Section 4, Subsection 1, NIR Act, 2020).
The previous NIDs act was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last April due to breaches on the rights of citizens. Today, Opposition Senator, Peter Bunting, says the town halls should be used mainly to get feedback from the public.
The aim of the NIDs act is to streamline simplicity and eliminate the inefficiencies surrounding the verification and use of identification in Jamaica. However, there is much open air around the security and management of personal data this continues to be the forerunner of discussions.
The Hope Vision will continue to monitor developments and feedback from the townhalls.