Senate to Convene Monday Sitting as Gov’t Moves to Pushes through NIDS Bill

In an unusual move, the upper house of parliament is to convene this morning as the government pushes to pass the National Identification and Registration bill.

The push comes amid calls from Opposition senators and some civil and religious groups for there to be a delay in the passage of the bill to facilitate further consultations

The national identification system is expected to create a comprehensive system to capture and store personal identity information of Jamaicans.

The discussions, which are now at committee stage, were adjourned on Saturday morning following a marathon sitting of the Senate on Friday.

Communications Director at the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Morgan, is insisting there’ll be no delay in the passage of the bill.

He says the people of Jamaica have waited long enough adding that it’s the intention of the government to carry the bill through all its stages today.

Mr. Morgan says the government will not delay the passage of the proposed National Identification System legislation.

On Friday, opposition senators asked for the bill to be sent to a joint select committee for further deliberations.

The motion was rejected by the government senators.

Mr. Morgan says the opposition had ample time to review the provisions of the bill.

One of the concerns of the opposition is that the proposed legislation would deny Jamaicans without the national ID access to public services.

In a statement yesterday, the PNP said it’s shocked and disappointed by the action of the government.

It’s calling on the government to further consult Jamaicans, before using its majority to pass what it described as a far-reaching and unreasonable bill. But, Mr. Morgan says the law will not seek to deny Jamaicans access to essential services.

He says the administration is working to ensure that each Jamaican has access to all government services.

Meanwhile, Mr. Morgan argued on twitter on the weekend that the Opposition was seeking to delay the passage of the bill because it’s aware of the funding deadline for the project. He says if NIDS is delayed the funding will be lost.