Thursday 12 December, 2019

EPOC to stakeholders: Get NIDS back on track

Co-chairman of EPOC, Keith Duncan said NIDS is needed to facilitate the ease of doing business on the island. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

Co-chairman of EPOC, Keith Duncan said NIDS is needed to facilitate the ease of doing business on the island. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

The Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) is urging stakeholders to quickly find a solution to implement a National Identification System (NIDS).

Speaking at the quarterly press briefing on Tuesday, co-chairman of EPOC, Keith Duncan said the system is needed to facilitate the ease of doing business on the island.

According to Duncan, NIDS has been a key deliverable in the Economic Reform Programme since 2009, but discussions have been taking place as far back as the 1970s about a comprehensive ID system for Jamaicans.

Duncan said that NIDS would eliminate many of the paperwork needed to do business in Jamaica, like having to provide proof of income, address, light bills and the various IDs that are presently being used.

“We are behind on implementation timelines from 2009 until now. The world is moving ahead with the new digital economy and we are still here stuck in a little bit of the dark ages,” he said.

“Under the current IMF Precautionary Standby Arrangement, this is a reform to be delivered. It is not a structural benchmark, but it is a reform under the programme to be delivered”.

“So we are calling on all stakeholders, the government, the opposition and stakeholders to come together, consult and ensure that we can deliver on the National Identification System,” Duncan said.

The Andrew Holness-led Jamaica Labour Party government tried to implement an identification system with the National Identification and Registration Act, but the Constitutional Court struck this down last month, stating that it was unconstitutional.

The opposition People’s National Party, led by general secretary Julian Robinson challenged the act.

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