Mon | Nov 20, 2017

Senate passes controversial NIDS Bill with 168 amendments

Published:Monday | November 13, 2017 | 10:16 PM
Leader of Government Business in the Senate Kamina Johnson Smith in talks with her follow Government members before the start of deliberations in the Upper House — Norman Grindley photo.

The Senate has passed the controversial National Identification and Registration Bill with 168 amendments following another marathon session of parliament’s Upper House.

However, the opposition senators did not vote for the Bill.

At Friday's marathon sitting and they had insisted that the Bill was being rushed and was not properly thought out.

They also suggested that the legislation go before a joint select committee of parliament, which could consult with various interest groups on its clauses.

After the Bill was passed around 9 p.m. Monday night, Leader of opposition Business in the Senate Donna Scott-Mottley, said the opposition still disagreed with aspects of the Act, and that the number of amendments showed that it needed further work.

 

Leader of opposition Business in the Senate Donna Scott-Mottley

However, Leader of Government Business in the Senate Kamina Johnson Smith disagreed.

 

Leader of Government Business in the Senate Kamina Johnson Smith

Senator Johnson Smith said the Government would now intensify its programme of public education surrounding the National Identification System.

The National Identification and Registration Bill seeks to facilitate the establishment and regulation of a system for the registration, verification, and authentication of the identities of citizens and other persons residing in Jamaica; and the establishment of a National Civil and Identification Database to generate national identification cards.

It also provides for the establishment of the Registrar General’s Department as the National Identification and Registration Authority, which will have responsibility for the project’s implementation.

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