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(Jamaica Observer) PRIME Minister Andrew Holness says the new national identification system (NIDS), to be facilitated under the National Identification and Registration Bill, will only verify citizens' identity in response to requests for information.

“It will not share additional information with the person making the request,” Holness told the House of Representatives Tuesday as he opened the debate on the Bill at Gordon House.

The prime minister explained that the staff of the new National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), which will replace the Registrar General's Department (RGD), will receive specialised training to ensure that they carry out their duties in keeping with established security protocols and procedures.

“We propose stiff penalties for a breach of these protocols and procedures. It should be noted that every member of the board of NIRA and the staff shall, prior to and during their appointment, be subject to periodic security clearance and background checks, as prescribed in the regulations which will be developed,” he stated.

Holness said that the establishment of the National Identification System will also allow for the generation of real-time statistical information for decision-making and planning.

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