Government will spend $39.6 million this year to advance the development of a National Identification System (NIDS).
Details of this allocation are contained in the 2014/15 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project aims to establish a unique National Identification Number (NIN) for all persons living in Jamaica, which will be issued from birth.
It will be used as a means to identify citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents for the purpose of work, taxation, tracking, government benefits, health care, and other government-related functions.
Up to March 2014, eleven terms of references were developed and approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the recruitment of consultants; a NIDS three-day seminar was held in 2012; and a NIDS policy has been drafted.
Additionally, a Cabinet note was developed, while a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was established in July 2012 between the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and Fiscal Services Limited (FSL), to support the ICT consultancies.
For this fiscal year, it is expected that a NIDS Bill will be presented to Parliament and amendments made to existing laws. A NIDS policy White Paper and policy implementation will commence.
The Government will also conduct a pre and post baseline study; cost benefit analysis; external audit and technical evaluation; and a NIDS Information and Communications Technology (ICT) cost and implementation plan.
The project, which is being implemented through the National Registration Unit in the OPM, with funding from the IDB, commenced in September 2011, and is expected to be completed in October 2015.
Other local stakeholders involved in the promulgation and implementation of the system include the Registrar General’s Department, the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, the Electoral Office of Jamaica, FSL, and the Ministries of National Security and Health.