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National ID numbers for babies by year end - PM's Office

Published:Thursday | July 9, 2015 | 9:25 AM

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) says the assignment of national identification numbers to newborns will begin by the third quarter of this year.

Permanent Secretary in the OPM, Onika Miller, says the Government is seeking funding for the US$20-million project which will ultimately assign a number to every Jamaican for identity purposes.

In a draft report submitted to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament, the OPM indicated that 78 per cent of the Jamaican population is expected to be registered on the National Identification System (NIDS) database by 2020.

The NIDS will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to capture and store the civil and biometric information of citizens and ordinarily resident individuals in Jamaica.

Member of the PAAC, Mikael Phillips argues that the government has taken a long time to roll out this project, noting that with delays come additional costs.

Miller acknowledges that it had taken a considerable period of time to implement the NIDS.

However, she says the government is seeking to source US$500,000 to carry out a business process review and to conduct a strategic review of the civil registry as part of the overall project.

Miller says a framework of NIDS should be in place by November and a full roll out of the system is targeted for the next five years.

Committee chairman Edmund Bartlett says the NIDS will serve as a critical tool for crime fighting in Jamaica.