Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Not too late to amend NIDS bill – JFJ

Published:Thursday | November 16, 2017 | 10:53 AM
Malcolm says although the bill has already been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, the government can still make changes when it returns to the Lower House next week.

Director of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) Rodje Malcolm says it’s not too late for the Government to fix some of the areas of the proposed National Identification System (NIDS) about which Jamaicans have concerns.

The National Identification and Registration Act was passed with 168 amendments following a second marathon session in the Senate on Monday.

Opposition senators voted against the bill, saying they were concerned that it was being rushed and there was no broad national consultation.

Jamaicans have expressed reservations about the provision for mandatory enrolment, the types of information they will be required to provide and the fact that they could be blocked from accessing certain public services without the new ID card.

Malcolm says although the bill has already been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, the government can still make changes when it returns to the Lower House next week.

 

Malcolm says although the government has said some of the provisions will be gradually phased in, this is not enough.

He says including provisions, such as those barring persons from accessing services without the card, could alienate people from the system.

Attorney and social activist, Shirley Richards, says Jamaicans should get involved and write their members of parliament urging them to make changes to the bill.

 

Attorney and social activist, Shirley Richards.

Malcolm and Richards were speaking last evening on Television Jamaica’s current affairs programme ‘All Angles’.

At least two petitions have been launched in relation to the National Identification and Registration Act.

One, on the Office of the Prime Minister’s website, calls for support of the bill and up to last night had 183 signatures.

Another, launched on the platform change.org, calling for public consultation before roll out of the law, has so far garnered 14,181 signatures.