Tue | Dec 12, 2017

House passes National ID and registration Bill with 100 amendments

Published:Wednesday | September 20, 2017 | 1:28 AM
Holness ... the Bill will support the ease of doing business in Jamaica and will also eliminate the need for a Census.

Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

The House of Representatives on Tuesday night passed the National Identification and Registration Bill with 100 amendments after more than two hours of
deliberations, consultations, committal and recommittal of clauses.

Deliberations on the Bill which was piloted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness began minutes to 6:00 p.m and ended at 7:55 p.m., after several concerns from the Opposition led by Dr Peter Phillips.

Attorney General Malahoo Forte said the keen attention paid to the Bill by the Opposition will only make for a better law.

Phillips, the St Andrew East Central Member of Parliament had reservations about the protection of personal information  and that of spouses.

There were similar concerns by MPs Julian Robinson, Colin Fagan, and Peter Bunting plus that of the cost to implement the programme.

Prime Minister Holness who acknowledged the Opposition's concerns addressed each in his presentation.

He said the National Identification System (NIDS) will translate to improved international standings and credibility for the country and will be the gateway for Jamaica to become a digital economy. 

According to Holness, the Bill will support the ease of doing business in Jamaica and will also eliminate the need for a Census, which is supposed to be done here every decade.

The Prime Minister said several countries to which he has travelled have eliminated the Census because of a programme such as NIDS.