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Jamaica hails public enthusiasm for new digital ID card project, earmarks $13M

Jamaica hails public enthusiasm for new digital ID card project, earmarks $13M

Jamaican government officials have praised the public for its interest in the implementation of the new national identification system (NIDS) project as a recent call for 300 volunteers for the post-technical pilot phase saw the number surpassed within 24 hours.

A government statement published by the Jamaica Information Service quotes the Hon. Floyd Green, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, as hailing the population for the enthused reaction.

The completion of this digital ID pilot, Green noted, will give room for the establishment of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), which will have the mandate to manage identity-related services.

Green added that already, the ID system is ready to personalize national biometric ID cards and digital certificates thanks to the successful integration of various components for pre-enrolment, online enrolment, queue management, and identity management.

Efforts, he added, are also underway to ensure the full functioning of the NIRA and the National Identification and Registration Inspectorate (NIRI).

As these efforts towards the full execution of the ID project unfold, officials have also announced that the sum of $1.96 billion Jamaican dollars (approximately US$13 million) has been earmarked in the 2023/2024 national budget as funds needed to continue the different phases of the digital ID project implementation.

Jamaica Gleaner reports that the budget will be used to, among other things, fund the enrolment pilot, ensure power supply installations, oversee the NIDS communications, and digitization of records at the Registrar General’s Department.

Spending from the budget is also previewed for the setting up of a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and the refurbishing of 19 sites for biometric capture.

The government said last month that it was preparing to begin an awareness and education campaign for the NIDS.

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