Jamaica to use biometric authentication to verify identity of pensioners

April 6, 2017 - 

The Accountant General’s Department (AGD) of Jamaica is implementing biometrics as a way of identifying pensioners, according to a report by the Jamaica Information Service.

Accountant General Carlene Murdock said the use of biometric authentication will significantly reduce processing time because the “pensioners’ information will be recorded in a quicker fashion”.

“What this will mean … is that the old order of the life certificates as we know it will change,” Murdock, said. “No longer will a certificate be mailed to a pensioner; no longer will the pensioner have to take it to the Justice of the Peace, or another certifier; no longer will the pensioner have to mail it to us.”

Murdock said that the department will make the necessary arrangements for people with physical disabilities and cannot otherwise be identified by biometrics.

The department did not provide a specific timeline for the implementation of the biometrics feature, but it hopes that it will happen this year, Murdock said.

A life certificate is an official document that is used to verify that a pensioner is still alive, and is, therefore, eligible to continue receiving a pension.

The AGD sends a life certificate — an official document that is used to verify that a pensioner is still alive — to each pensioner every three months.

The pensioner must sign, certify or notorize the certificate and return it by the end of the following month, to remain eligible for pension payments.

Previously reported, Jamaican government agencies gathered at the ‘Leveraging Technology for Effective Border Security’ conference in November to discuss the use of biometric technologies to protect the country’s borders.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.