Fri | Apr 20, 2018

Prime Minister: Public engagement for NIDS regulations

Published:Wednesday | March 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter

The Government has completed 90 per cent of the business processes required for the implementation of the National Identification System (NIDS), Prime Minister Andrew Holness disclosed during his contribution to the Budget Debate yesterday.

The Government signed a loan agreement for US$68 million last month with the Inter-American Development Bank, but Holness noted that there has been miscommunication regarding how the money would be expended. "Of the US$68 million, which was wrongfully circulated as being used only for a National Identification System, only 20 per cent of that amount would be used directly for the National Identification System," said Holness.

He continued, "The rest of it will be used to actually build out the ICT (information communication technology) infrastructure of government. That is where all the servers will be, that we will put right throughout Government to make sure that the software is there."

In light of privacy concerns, Holness asserted that the ICT budget is grounded in the need for the Government to procure the best-quality system in an effort to host and protect the data of citizens.

The prime minister is moving to avoid a recurrence of the public uproar regarding what was described by many interest groups as a lack of consultation on the NIDS bill last year. He said the regulations that will govern the NIDS will benefit from public engagement.

brian.walker@gleanerjm.com