New Voluntary NIDS Bill Tabled In Parliament

The Andrew Holness led administration has tabled a new National Identification and Registration Act, 2020 (NIDs) making provisions for voluntary enrolment with the National Registration Authority. The bill has also been referred to a joint select committee of Parliament for deliberations. The members of the committee include Delroy Chuck, Fayval Williams, Marsha Smith, Robert Morgan, Julian Robinson, Hugh Graham, Dwight Sibblies and Lothan Cousins. Under the new bill, the Authority will require biometric information including facial images, fingerprints and a manual signature. It also provides for a unique ID number for each person enrolled with the authority. The previous bill was struck down by the Supreme Court in April of 2019 over concerns that it was unconstitutional. Speaking in the House of Representatives yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness indicated that the new bill is aimed at improving government services to Jamaicans, improving business processes and offering social protection. “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 persons ordinarily resident in Jamaica,” said Holness.