JAMAICANS are being urged to provide feedback to the Government on draft regulations for the implementation of the National Identification System (NIDS) by February 21.
Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister Floyd Green made the appeal on Tuesday in Parliament while tabling the four draft regulations which deal with the administration of NIDS, security procedures, an appeals process and assigning a National Identification number.
They are the National Identification and Registration Regulations, 2023; National Identification and Registration (Information Security) Regulations, 2023; National Identification and Registration (Appeal Tribunal) Regulations, 2023; and the National Identification and Registration (Assignment of National Identification Numbers) Regulations, 2023, respectively, which accompany the National Identification and Registration Act, 2021 that provides a legal framework for NIDS.
Green said the regulations have been laid in the House so that they can be “taken, considered, reviewed and feedback can be given to us before we take the debate of the regulations”.
He added: “We are sharing the regulations here [in the House] in hard copy. We are also putting the soft copies up on the national identification website, that is: www.nidsfacts.gov.jm so people can access the regulations.” Government, he said, is ensuring that it is participatory and inclusive in the rolling out of NIDS.
Green also encouraged Members of Parliament to speak to their constituents about the regulations and to get feedback from them.
All feedback, he said, should be provided to NIDS project executing team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Also, we have designed a form on the NIDS facts website so people can go to the website, read the regulations and provide real time feedback using that portal,” he said.
Green said the regulations dealing with the security of the system “are perhaps the most important regulations to many persons because people are genuinely concerned about the steps that will be taken to ensure that their information is secure”.
He said the National Identification and Registration (Information Security) Regulations, 2023 “go into great detail to treat with issues such as security standards, processes, practices that the national identification registration authority will be expected to abide by. If the authority fails to do so, the national identification and registration inspectorate and indeed Parliament is empowered to bring the authority back into line.”
In terms of the National Identification and Registration Regulations, 2023, Green said these seek to outline the practicalities having to do with application, enrolment, cancellation, renewal; and also contains the requisite application forms.
“So the forms are attached and people will see what the application form looks like, people will see the process that they would go by if they’re seeking to cancel, people will be able to see how persons with disabilities and others requiring assistance such as the elderly will be able to access NIDS,” he said. Green said the regulations also outline the type of documents that may be accepted, and the fees attached to losing or mutilating the national identification card.
Meanwhile, Opposition spokesperson Julian Robinson commended Minister Green “for the approach of inclusivity and consultation and for providing sufficient time for persons to review it; if we had started this way we would have been much further down the wicket. We will reserve our comments [until] we have gone through the regulations”.
The Government says NIDS will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of personal identity information for citizens and persons ordinarily resident in Jamaica. NIDS, it said, will become the primary source for identity assurance and verification, and will result in improved governance and management of social, economic and security programmes.