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Liberia issues biometric ID cards to fight public sector fraud

Liberia issues biometric ID cards to fight public sector fraud

A partnership between the National Identification Registry (NIR) and the Civil Service Agency (CSA) in Liberia has set the stage for the imminent issuance of biometric cards to civil servants as part of efforts by the government to fight financial fraud in the public sector.

Signed recently, the deal will ensure the issuance of ID cards to workers in 103 government agencies as a way of curbing payroll fraud, according to Front Page Africa. It is hoped that the biometric ID cards will help fight identity duplication by fishing out those who do not deserve to earn from the public purse.

In his remarks during the MoU signing ceremony, the CSA Director General, Hon Josiah F. Joekai, highlighted the importance of the deal with the NIR, saying it will facilitate the process of verifying public servants, thus enhancing service delivery.

According to Joekai, the MoU has built the foundation for the “implementation of a comprehensive biometric verification system, which will form an inter-agency partnership that will provide the CSA with ongoing access to the NIR’s e-verification platform to ensure that all GOL [Government of Liberia] employees’ National Identification Numbers are inserted on the working identification cards that the CSA will produce and issue.”

To Andrew Peters, NIR Director General, the collaboration with the CSA is a major step towards better collection of civil servants’ data, which will ensure that all those using different names and biographical data to defraud the sate of huge sums of money are tracked down.

As quoted, Peters said NIR’s collaboration with the SCA will “provide every civil servant with a single identification number for proper representation and to assist the Liberian government and its ministries, agencies, and commissions in improving and strengthening information collection, storage, evaluation, and security, as well as other identification documents.”

A mass biometric citizen enrollment exercise was launched early this month in Liberia and the goal is to expand ID coverage among citizens.

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