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  • What is National Identification System (NIDS)

    The Government of Jamaica is designing and developing a National Identification System (NIDS), that will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of personal identity information for citizens and persons ordinarily resident in Jamaica. The NIDS will become the primary source for identity assurance and verification and will result in improved governance and management of social, economic and security programmes.

    What is NIDS?

    The National Identification System, called NIDS, is a unique, reliable and secure way of verifying an individual’s identity. It will establish a reliable database of all Jamaican citizens and will involve the issuance of a unique lifelong National Identification Number to every person. In the long term, the NIN may be used alongside a multipurpose card, or be uploaded onto smartphones. The use of biometric (fingerprint or retina) scan is also being explored.

    Why a NIDS?

    At present, Jamaica does not have a central national database with the accompanying systems to support secure, reliable identity verification and authentication. The various systems issue different numbers based on the diverse standards and are not necessarily able to connect and share information with each other due to logistical or legal barriers. Therefore, individuals can assume multiple identities.




    What are the objectives of NIDS?

    1. To establish a reliable database of Jamaican citizens and other individuals ordinarily resident in Jamaica, with a unique National Identification Number (NIN) as the primary key identifier of a person in the system.
    2. To enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Government entities, management and delivery of Government services to the public; to include programme benefits such as the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), the National Health Fund (NHF), welfare, E-government (with the use of the NIN, creating  the linkages between entities and providing the following services: Citizen to Government C2G, Government to Government G2G services, Government to Business G2B services and Government to Citizen  G2c services) among others.
    3. To facilitate the growth and development of commerce and economic activity through the provision of a platform of greater security and integrity for public partnerships
    4. To enhance the Government’s ability to secure compliance with critical obligations to the state to include tax collection, among others
    5. Strengthening of immigration, border control management, public safety and national security

    What are the benefits of NIDS?

    1. Reduce the need to register for each benefit and/or obligation – e.g. Payment of property taxes or receiving PATH benefits. This will, among other things, simplify the government’s processes and eliminate costs incurred from paper purchases and other administrative tasks.
    2. Assist in the fight against crime by providing the relevant authorities access to a secure database which captures civil and biometric data of citizens and residents in Jamaica.
    3. Minimize the capacity for an individual to assume multiple identities which has contributed to illegal activities such as money laundering, tax evasion, and credit card fraud.

    Will there be new or amended legislation?

    New legislation and regulations related to identity management, verification and data sharing will be enacted. The legislation will ensure the protection of personal data. All existing laws related to identity management and storage will be reviewed and amended f deemed necessary. Data Sharing Agreements will be established among government entities.

    How will NIDS be financed?

    The initial design and development of NIDS is funded by a Technical Co-operation Grant from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through the Korean Poverty Reduction Fund in the amount of USD670,000 with GOJ counterpart funding of USD120,000.

    The Technical Co-operation Agreement which will last for 24 months was signed in September 2011. The Grant will finance the following technical consultancies:

    • Develop the Legal Framework
    • Design the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Architecture
    • Develop the Communication and Behaviour Change Strategy
    • Develop the Institutional Framework
    • Conduct an Economic Assessment (Cost Benefit Analysis) and Audit

    Who are the key facilitating Government entities?

    • Fiscal Services Limited
    • Registrar General’s Department
    • Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency
    • Electoral Office of Jamaica
    • National Insurance Scheme

    For further Information:

    Contact the NIDS Project Team
    National Registration Unit
    National Identification System (NIDS) Project
    Office of the Prime Minister
    1 Devon Road, Kingston 10
    Jamaica, West Indies

    Telephone: ( 876 )-927-9941-3


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  • Elderly rape victim dies in hospital


    Ceyan Foster, an 83-year-old woman who was raped and beaten in her community of Ewers Lane, Watchwell, St Elizabeth, late last week, succumbed to her injuries on Sunday at hospital.

    According to the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, a relative went to visit Foster last week Thursday and observed that the glass on the house was broken.

    The CCU said that when the relatives checked the house, Foster was not inside.

    She was found in nearby bushes bloodied and unconscious.

    She was taken to the hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.

    Lawmen assigned to the Pedro Plains Police Station are carrying out investigations.

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  • Desperate to find a home - Woman, child evicted after being taken off witness protection program

    Image result for buying a house in jamaica

    A woman who says she witnessed the murder of her babyfather almost a decade ago alleges that she and her 13-year-old daughter were taken off the witness protection programme after the case she testified in concluded.

    Jane Brown* said that after witnessing the murder of her daughter's father in 2008 in May Pen, Clarendon, she went into hiding for two years before coming forward to testify against a suspect.

    "I gave evidence and he was sentenced. My daughter and I were placed on the programme. When we were placed on the programme, they told us that they would ensure that we were safe, and when the matter was finished, they would do a risk assessment and reintegrate us back into society," she explained.

    During the trial, Brown said that she and her daughter lived in a house that was rented under the witness protection programme until this year.

    "In December, 2016, my case manager called me and said to me that my matter before the court is finished. She said I needed to find somewhere to rent that is cheaper because they are going to stop paying the rent," she told THE WEEKEND STAR.




    However, Brown said that she enquired about assistance and was told that if she could find a house to lease for 10 to 15 years, they would assist her.

    After finding a house to lease, she said her plea for help was rejected.

    However, with her daughter attending high school developing a malignant cyst in her breast and being laid off from her work, Brown explained that she found it difficult to come up with the rent money.

    And after travelling to the United States earlier this year to have two surgeries done, with the help of persons at a church she attends, she returned to Jamaica and was evicted.

    "When I came back, no rent had been paid, no utility bills. The landlord sent me a voice note that I need to get my things out of his house, and, if not, he is going to throw me out. I have been thrown out since September. Two persons from church put up my furniture, and a lady gave me a baby to look after, so when I am there with the child, my daughter can sleep there with me, but when I am not there, we have to find somewhere else to sleep," she said.

    Depressed by her living arrangements and the risks that her daughter might be exposed to, she said that she still wants somewhere to live.

    "Mi nuh want them fi sexually assault mi child because of the decision wah mi mek," she said.

    Brown noted that she managed to get in contact with her parents, who were also forced to flee their home following the murder in 2008. They agreed to keep her daughter but she would have to change school. But that possibility has presented another hurdle, as she said that purchasing new uniforms would be difficult because she has no money.

    THE WEEKEND STAR reached out to the Ministry of National Security, under whose purview the witness protect programme falls, but up to press time there was no response to our email.

    * Name changed

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  • Cops clamp down on major child prostitution ring in St Ann


    Members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime (CTOC) say they have clamped down on a major prostitution ring in Runaway Bay, St Ann.

    Police say during a series of operation to target persons involved in the human trafficking trade they discovered the underground scheme that involves some residents in the Salem area of Runaway Bay turning their houses into makeshift motels and renting them to prostitutes, some of them underage girls between 14 and 15-years-old, to perform sexual favors to customers.

    Police told Loop News that between late Friday and early Saturday a team of officers from CTOC carried out a raid in the mentioned area where they arrested three women involved in the illegal underground operation.

    “Police acting on information went to sections of the parish and during a raid, the women, who are homeowners were arrested,” Assistant Superintendent, Victor Barrett told Loop News

    Barrett said a further investigation into the illegal operation revealed that the homeowners would rent rooms in their houses, or the small shacks built at the front of their premises, for a fee of $300 for 15 minutes to allow customers and the prostitutes to engage in their sexual activities.

    “We have found that this underground operation is a multimillion-dollar scheme that sometimes targets children and is also used to fund the operation of criminal gangs,” said one police source.

    CTOC members say based on the information more persons could be arrested in coming days as they intensify their operation to clamp down on individuals involved in the human trafficking trade.


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