Stevian Simmonds reports

Prime Minister Holness tabled new legislation for the establishment of the country’s national identification system, NIDS, in parliament yesterday.

In 2019, the Supreme Court ruled that the 2017 National Identification and Registration Act, NIRA, should be struck down as null, void and of no legal effect.

Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes, said the mandatory nature of NIDS was an issue, as persons would face the risk of criminal prosecution.

The Prime Minister told the House of Representatives yesterday that under the new law being proposed, it will not be mandatory for people to be part of the NIDS.

Prime Minister Holness says the government has crafted a new NIDS bill in compliance with the court ruling.

He says under the new legislation, a robust framework will be developed to manage the collection, processing, storage and usage of people’s identity information.

The Prime Minister says people’s identity information will be their property and they must give informed consent for its collection, storage and usage.

Mr Holness says the new legislation will impact efficiency and security.

The Prime Minister says he’s thankful for all civil society stakeholders who contributed to the debates and made submissions.

He says at this stage the bill can be reviewed by a parliamentary joint select committee before going to the House of Representatives to be passed.

Opposition Happy with New Approach to NIDS

In the meantime, Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, says he’s glad the government has adjusted its approach to the current NIDS bill.

He says the previous approach by the government was foolhardy.

Mr Golding says the Opposition will participate at the joint select committee stage.

Mark Golding, Opposition Leader, addressing the House of Representatives last evening.

Opposition MP Julian Robinson had filed the motion in the Supreme Court successfully challenging the previous law that should have given rise to the establishment of the NIDS.