Thursday 3 December, 2020

Government, Opposition back in talks on NIDS, says Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness in Parliament (file photo)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness in Parliament (file photo)

Talks aimed at revamping the National Identification and Registration (NIDS) Act got under way on Tuesday between policymakers from the Government and members of the parliamentary Opposition.

The talks come nine months after court action brought by the Opposition led to the striking down of the legislation, which the Constitutional Court found to have been unconstitutional.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness shared the news of the commencement of talks on social media on Tuesday.

He told Parliament in November last year that the Administration would be pushing to table a new NIDS Bill by March 31, the end of the 2019-2020 financial year.

That date would be just shy of a year since the NIDS was ruled unconstitutional and struck down by the Constitutional Court on April 12 last year.

Holness said while the Government did not appeal the decision of the court, it was never its intention to abandon the identification aspect of the legislation.

He said many Jamaicans are still having problems conducting regular day-to-day activities, such as dealing with financial institutions, because of their lack of proper identification.

“Let me make it clear that the Government is not abandoning the identification aspects of NIDS.

“Our target is to issue new drafting instructions, with strengthened oversight and security provisions, by January 2020, with the aim to table a new Bill by the end of financial year 2019-2020,” the prime minister stated.

He said the Administration has completed a revived policy that is consistent with the recommendations of the court ruling that is now being “reviewed by our primary stakeholders”.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: