The case for a National Registration System for Jamaica was first discussed in the 1970s. The concept has now evolved, however, into a more comprehensive National Identification System (NIDS), which will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to capture and store personal identity information of individuals. It will become the primary source for identity assurance and will provide a process to improve the governance and management of social, security and economic programmes.
In August 2012, eGov Jamaica Limited (then Fiscal Services Limited), entered into an MOU with the Government of Jamaica, acting through the OPM’s National Registration Unit. Through this MOU, eGov Jamaica is providing technical ICT advice and guidance to the project team and supporting the OPM in the management of the ICT Consultants engaged to design the NIDS ICT architecture. The specific tasks related to this consultancy address the Design and Costing of the NIDS, and provision of the ICT Plan for its development and implementation.
The objectives are to undertake a comprehensive Business and Process Re-engineering exercise to enable the Government of Jamaica to improve and/or establish efficient and effective processes for identity management, and support implementation of the NIDS.
Features of the NIDS
- Capture and storage of personal identity information (civil and biometric) through an enrollment process at birth or at any age thereafter;
- Issuance of a National Identification Number (NIN) and a multi-purpose card, for every Jamaican citizen and person ordinarily resident in Jamaica;
- Online Identity Verification Service to verify identity; this online Identity Verification Service will be operated as fee-for-service to provide revenue that will help support and sustain the NIDS.
Benefits of the NIDS
It is intended that the implementation of a NIDS will
- enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of e-government with the use of a unique National Identification Number, creating linkages between entities and providing the following services: Citizen to Government (C2G), Government to Citizen (G2C) and Government to Government (G2G) among others;
- improve the delivery of State social benefits through accurate identification of beneficiaries;
- create a uniform standard and process of identity verification;
- increase compliance of critical obligations to the State ( including tax collection);
- strengthen immigration and border control management and
- improve governance and management of economic and security programmes.
The following deliverables have been completed by the consultants, who have been working since January 2014:
- A Needs Assessment that takes into consideration existing bodies of work, ongoing and planned initiatives, and constraints that relate to identification systems;
- A Conceptual NIDS Architecture Design based on identified Needs and Gaps, including the refinement/re-engineering of Business Processes;
- A Detailed System and Architecture Design that builds and expands on the Conceptual design.
The remaining deliverable is an Implementation/Action Plan that includes a cost analysis and a risk assessment with mitigation measures. The submission of the final report and culmination of the consultancy is scheduled for June 2014.
In addition to the ICT consultancy, there are four other key technical consultancies relating to, a Legal Framework Review; Communication and Behavior Change Strategy; Institutional Framework Analysis; and Economic Assessment (Cost Benefit Analysis) and Audit which are at various stages. All five consultancies comprise the preparatory phase of the NIDS project, which is scheduled to end in March 2015 following which the related procurement procedures will take place for implementation of the NIDS to commence in 2016, subject to the availability of funding.