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Fiji’s digital ID program implementation gets cabinet approval

Fiji’s digital ID program implementation gets cabinet approval
 

The implementation of a national digital identification program will go ahead in Fiji after the country’s cabinet put its stamp of approval on the project.

The approval was given at the 10th meeting of Cabinet which took place last week, according to an announcement by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka posted on the Facebook account of his Office.

In order to better execute the project, cabinet also agreed on the creation of a national ID card steering committee to oversee the “the management, governance, legal and policy frameworks for the National ID Program.”

As the announcement states, the first phase of the project will begin with a digital Know Your Customer (eKYC) system for the Reserve Bank of Fiji to simplify customer onboarding and verification.

Cabinet’s endorsement of the digital ID project follows the completion of a feasibility study that was conducted between 2019 and 2022 by the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise.

Fiji has tapped experience from Singapore through different platforms in the past including a cooperation visit by a Fijian delegation last year to learn about the country’s advanced digital transformation programs.

The imminent implementation of a national digital identification program in Fiji is part of the country’s digital government transformation program summarized under the digitalFIJI initiative. A government undertaking, it is designed as a four-year program under the National Development Plan with the aim of facilitating access to government services.

This includes the putting in place of a digital government system that will drive efficiency in the delivery of government services and make life better for citizens. Under the program, some mobile applications such as “Government Directory” and “myFeedback” have been developed to ease access to government services.

Fiji also enjoys companionship in its digital transformation program with Japan through a collaborative partnership between the Home Affairs Ministry of country and Japan’s Digital Government Agency.

Specific to this partnership is the implementation of a border program for Fiji, Palau and Vanuatu to facilitate travel and transactions among the countries through data inoperability and inter-agency cooperation.

The project has the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and falls in line with Fiji’s National Border Security Upgrade Priorities for the period 2023-2028.

It is also related to another project which the UNDP is using to empower civil society organizations in the Pacific to contribute to the use of digital tools for access to public and private sector services. Through the project, the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji is overseeing the promotion of digital democracy and citizen empowerment.

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