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SEARCH THE NIRA ACT 2017

PART I - Preliminary

1 Short title and commencement

This Act may be cited as the National Identification and Registration Act, 2017, and subject to subsection (2), shall come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

(2) A notice under subsection (1) may appoint different days in respect of different parts or provisions of this Act.

2. Interpre­tation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

“appointed day” means the day appointed under section 1 for the coming into operation of this Act;

“authentication” means the process by which a National Identification Number and a National Identification Card of an individual are proved;

“Authority” means the National Identification and Registration Authority established by section 5;

“benefit” includes the provision of goods, services, facilities, opportunities, situations or advantages;

“biographic information” in relation to an individual, means the information specified in Part A of the Third Schedule;

“biometric information”, in relation to an individual, means the Part B. information specified in sub-parts B1, B2 and B3 of the Third Schedule but does not include the DNA of the individual;

“Board” means the Board of Management of the Authority established by section 9;

“Chairman” means the Chairman of the Board appointed under paragraph 6 of the First Schedule;

“Chief Executive Officer” means the person appointed as the Chief Executive Officer under section 11;

“core biometric information”, in relation to an individual, means the information specified in sub-parts B1 and B2 of the Third Schedule but does not include the DNA of the individual;

“Database” means the National Civil and Identification Database established by section 15;

“demographic information”, in relation to an individual, means the Part c. information specified in Part C of thelbird Schedule;

“DNA” has the meaning assigned to it by the DNA Evidence Act;

“document” means, in addition to a document in writing, any thing or manner in which information of any description is recorded or stored;

“enrolled individual” means any person who is enrolled under Part IV’

“enrolment” means the process of collecting identity information and demographic information from individuals for the purpose of the Database;

“functions” includes duties and powers;

“identity information” means the biographic information and biometric information of an individual;

“Minister” means the Prime Minister;

”National Identification Card” means the identification card issued under section 25;

 

”National Identification Number” means the identification number assigned to an individual under section 23;

”National Identification System” includes:

  • the Database;
  • the National Identification Number;
  • the National Identification Card; and
  • the processes, automated retrieval and storage, procedures, plans, networks, services, measures and interconnected and other associated elements for the enrolment of all citizens of Jamaica and individuals who areordinarily resident in Jamaica and theverification and the authenticationof their identity;

“ordinarily resident in Jamaica”, in relation to an individual, means legally residing in Jamaica for at least six months in a calendar year immediately preceding the date of enrolment;

“photograph” means an image of an individual, generated by a process of reflecting light and capturing light through chemical or electronic process and recreating the image either electronically or physically and, for the purpose of this Act, a photograph shall capture identifiable features and physical characters of the individual, in such manner as may be prescribed by the regulations;

“public body” means-

  • a Ministry, Department, Executive Agency or other agency of Government;
  • a Local Authority as defined in section 2 of the Local Governance Act;
  • a statutory body or authority; or
  • a government company, in which the Government, or an Agency of the Government, is in a position to direct the policy of that company;

“public records” has the meaning assigned to it in the Record Office Act;

“registered individual” means a registrable individual whose identity information is included in the Database;

“registrable individual” means any citizen or person who is ordinarily resident in Jamaica;

“Registrar-General” has the meaning assigned to it by the

Registration (Births and Deaths) Act;

“regulations” means regulations made under section 57;

“requesting entity” means a public body or private entity that, or person who, submits the National Identification Number and identity information, of an individual to the Database for authentication;

“Tribunal” means the Appeal Tribunal established by section 46;

“verification” means the process by which the accuracy of identity information is established.

3. Objects of Act.

The objects of this Act are inter alia,to-

  • establish a body to be called the National Identification and Registration Authority for the promotion, establishment and regulation of a National Identification System that facilitates the enrolment of all citizens of Jamaica and individuals who are ordinarily resident in Jamaica;
  • establish and develop the National Identification System;
  • facilitate the collection and compilation analysis, abstraction and publication of statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, social, economic and general activities and condition ofcitizens ofJarnaica and individuals who are ordinarily resident in Jamaica; and
  • provide a primary source for the verification of identity

4. Application and non-application of Act.

This Act applies to-

  • all citizens ofJamaica; and
  • individuals who are ordinarily resident in

(2) This Act shall not apply to persons who are entitled to immunities and privileges under the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act.

PART II - National Identification and Registration Authority Establishment and Functions

5. Establishment of Authority and General Register Office

There is established for the purposes of this Act, a body to be called the National Identification and Registration Authority, which shall be a body corporate to which section 28 of the Interpretation Act applies.

  • There shall be established in theAuthority an office which shall be the General Register Office for keeping a register of all births and deaths in
  • The provisions of the Second Schedule shall have effect in relation to

6. Functions of Authority

The functions of the Authority shall be to –

  • administer the National Identification System as provided under thisAct;
  • establish, maintain and operate the database;
  • establish and maintain an improved and modernized system of civil registration and keep public records through appropriate means;
  • develop appropriate systems and protocols for the security, secrecy and necessary safeguards for the protection and confidentiality of identity information and demographic information in the Database;
  • develop policies, procedures and protocols for thecollection, processing, use and sharing of information contained in the Database consistent with data protection best practices;
  • provide information or advice, or make proposals, to the Minister on matters relating to theAuthority;
  • develop public education programmes, monitor and promote compliance with thisAct and the regulations;
  • perform such other functions as may be assigned to the Authority by the Minister by or under this Act or any other enactment.

(2) In performing the functions specified in subsection (1),

the Authority may –

  • institute measures for the promotion of compliance with this Act;
  • design and develop systems and procedures which allow for ease and convenience in the enrolment of individuals;
  • introduce cost recovery measures for services provided by oron behalf oftheAuthority;
  • establish procedures and develop, implement and monitor plans and programmes relating to the administration of the National Identification System;
  • conduct seminars and provide appropriate training programmes and consulting services and gather and disseminate information relating to the National Identification System;and
  • do anything or enter into any arrangement which, in the opinion of the Authority, is necessary to ensure the proper performance of its functions.
  • The Authority shall manage its human, material and financial resources in keeping with modem standards and practices of sound financial management and good corporate
  • The Authority may contract the services of one or more providers of goods or services to establish and maintain the Database and to perform any other functions
  • In the performance of its functions, the Authority shall have regard to the needs of persons with disabilities within the meaning of section 2 of the Disabilities Act.
  • The Authority may, with the written approval of the Minister, delegate to any member, officer or agent the performance of such of its functions (other than the power to make regulations or the power of delegation) as it may, from time to time, consider to be necessary
  • A delegation of any function under subsection (6)is revocable by the Authority and the delegation shall not preclude the performance of that function by the Authority

7. Ministerial directions

The Minister may, after consultation with the Chairman, give to the Authority, directions of a general character as to the policy to be followed by the Authority in the exercise and performance of its functions as appear to the Minister to be necessary in the public interest.

(2) The Authority shall give effect to the directions given by the Minister under subsection (1).

8. Cooperation between Authority and public bodies.

In the exercise of its functions, the Authority shall cooperate with other public bodies in the implementation of this Act.

(2) Public bodies shall accord to the Authority such assistance as may be necessary to ensure the proper discharge of the functions of the Authority.

BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

9. Establishment of Board.

For the purposes of this Act, there is established a Board of Management of the Authority.

  • The First Schedule shall have effect in relation to the Board.

10. Functions of Board

  1. Subject to this Act, the Board is responsible for overseeing the general administration of the Authority.
  2. The Board shall-
    • establish policies and procedures for-
      • the creation, management, maintenance and operation of the National Identification System;
      • the enrolment of registrable individuals;
      • the generation and assignment of a National Identification Number to every new born and every individual enrolled under this Act;
      • the issue of National Identification Cards to registered individuals over the age of six years;
      • the harmonization and incorporation into the Database of information required to be collected by the Authority under this Act from other databases kept by public bodies;
      • the collation and reproduction of information obtained and required under this Act to be collated and reproduced asmay be required, from time to time;
      • the preservation, protection and security of all information or data collected, obtained, maintained or stored in the Database;
      • the promotion of the use of the National Identification Number and the National Identification Card; and
      • on-going research on developments and best practices in identity management;
  • ensure that the operations of the Authority are, where applicable, in conformity with-
  • the Financial Administration and Audit Act and any Financial Instructions issued by the Financial Secretary under section 51 of that Act;
  • the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act; and
  • anyother law relevant to the management of public bodies;
  • review, evaluate, approve and monitor the implementation by the Chief Executive Officer of its-
    • corporate policies;
    • operational, strategic and other corporate plans; and
    • annual budget proposals and submissions;
  • review, evaluate and approve the financial statements and major expenditure proposals of theAuthority; and
  • ensure, whether by way of meetings or otherwise, that the Minister and the Permanent Secretary are kept abreast of matters relating to the administrationand management of the Authority, including any need for financial, human, technological and other resource requirements necessary for the achievement of performance
  • The Board may give directions to the Chief Executive Officer with regard to the management of
  • In the performance of its functions, the Board shall operate in a manner that maximizes the effective and efficient operation of the Authority.
  • The Board-
    • shall establish policies on—
      • human resource management, including a code of conduct and a system of performance based evaluation;
      • financial management;
      • employee benefits;
      • property management; and
      • enterprise risk management;
  • shall approve annual, quarterly and other reports of the Authority which are required by this or any other enactment to be submitted to the Minister or to Parliament;
  • shall monitor the performance of theAuthority in respect of its performance targets and service standards; and
  • shall request and receive from the Chief Executive Officer, periodic reports and such special reports as the Board considers appropriate, in written or oral form, in respect of the management of the Authority and the Chief Executive Officer shall give effect to the

Administration of Authority

11. Appointment and appointment of Chief Executive Officer

 There shall be a Chief Executive Officer who shall be-

  • responsible for the day-to-day administration and termination management of the Authority,
  • the Registrar-General of Births and Deaths in
  • Subject to section 13(3), the Chief Executive Officer shall be appointed by the Board, after consultation with the Minister, at such remuneration and on such terms and conditions as may be approved by the Board.
  • The Chief Executive Officer shall be a citizen of Jamaica who the Board considers to be a fit and proper individual for appointment.
  • In determining whether an individual is fit and proper to be appointed as the Chief Executive Officer, regard shall be had as to whether the individual-
    • has adequate academic qualifications and technical, managerial and leadership competencies and experience;
    • is of good repute, having regard to his character, honesty and integrity;
    • is not a bankrupt within the meaning of the Insolvency Act;
    • has any business association with any person who, in the opinion of the Board, is not of good repute having regard to his character, honesty and
  • Where the Board is satisfied that any circumstance specified in subsection (6) exists in relation to the Chief Executive Officer, the Board may, after consultation with the Minister, terminate the appointment of the Chief Executive
  • The circumstances referred to in subsection (5) are that the Chief Executive Officer-
    • is suffering from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act, or becomes of unsound mind or is permanently unable to perform his functions by reason of ill health;
    • becomes bankrupt within the meaning of the Insolvency Act;
    • is convicted and sentenced to a tenn of imprisonment or to death;
    • is convicted of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude;
    • fails to carry out any of the functions conferred or imposed on him by virtue of this Act;
    • fails to fulfil contracted performance targets;
    • engages in action or behaviour reasonably likely to bring the Authority into disrepute;
    • is no longer a fit and proper person; or
    • engages in action or behaviour which constitutes sufficient cause for
  • Before taking any action under this section, the Board shall in writing notify the Chief Executive Officer of the right to be heard on the matter of the proposed termination, within such time as may be specified in the notice.
  • The Chief Executive Officer may, subject to the provisions of this Act, delegate to any person the performance of such of the Chief Executive Officer’s functions, other than the power of delegation, as the Chief Executive Officer may, from time to time, consider to be necessary.
  • A delegation of any function under subsection (8) is revocable by the Chief Executive Officer and the delegation shall not preclude this performance of that:function by the Chief Executive

13. Appointment and termination of appointment of Deputy Chief Executive Officers, and other officers and employees.

For the proper canying out of thisAct, the Board, on the advice of the Chief Executive Officer, and subject to subsection (3), may appoint and employ Deputy Chief Executive Officers, at such remuneration and on such terms and conditions as may be approved by the Board.

  • Subject to subsection (3) and the approval of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer may appoint and employ to anyoffice in the Authority, such other officers and employees, at such remuneration and on such terms and conditions as may be approved by the
  • Except with the prior approval of the Minister responsible for finance–
    • no salary in excess of the prescribed rate shall be assigned to any officer; and
    • no appointment shall be made to any office to which a salary in excess of the prescribed rate is
  • For the purposes of subsection (3), the prescribed rate shall be such rate as the Minister responsible for the Public Service may prescribe, byorder subject to affirmative
  • The Governor-General may, subject to such conditions as he may impose, approve the appointment of any public officer in the service of the Government to any office within theAuthority; and any officer so appointed shall while so employed, in relation to any pension, gratuity or other allowance and in relation to other rights as a public officer, be treated as continuing in the service of the
  • Subject to subsection (7), the Chief Executive Officer shall consult with the Board in establishing the qualificationsfor the various offices within
  • The Deputy Chief Executive Officer shall bean individual who the Board considers to be a fit and proper individual for appointment.
  • In detennining whether an individual is fit and proper to be appointed as a Deputy Chief Executive Officer, regard shall be had as to whether the individual-
    • has adequate academic qualifications and technical, managerial and leadership competencies and experience;
    • is of good repute, having regard to his character, honesty and integrity;
    • is not a bankrupt within the meaning of the Insolvency Act; and
    • has any business association with any person who, in the opinion of the Board, is not of good repute having regard to his character, honesty and
  • Where the Board issatisfied that anycircumstance specified in subsection (10) exists in relation to a Deputy ChiefExecutiveOfficer, the Board may, after consultation with the Chief Executive Officer terminate the appointment of that Deputy Chief Executive
  • The circumstances referred to in subsection (9) are that the Deputy Chief Executive Officer-
    • is suffering from a mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health Act, becomes of unsound mind or permanently unable to perform his functions byreason of ill health;
    • becomes bankrupt within the meaning of the Insolvency Act;
    • is convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment or to death;
    • is convicted of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude;
    • fails to carry out any of the functions conferred or imposed on him by virtue of this Act;
    • fails to fulfill contracted performance targets;
    • engages in action or behaviour reasonably likely to bring the Authority into disrepute;
    • is no longer a fit and proper person; or
    • engages in action or behaviour which constitutes sufficient cause for
  • Before taking any action under this section, the Board shall in writing notify the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the right to be heard on the matter of the proposed tennination, within such time as may be specified in the

14. Security clearance and background checks.

Every member of the Board and every person who is proposed to be appointed or employed to any office of the Authority shall, prior to and during their appointment or employment; be subject to such periodic security clearance and background check as may be prescribed in

PART III - National Civil and Identification Database

15. Establishment of National Civil and Identification Database.

The Authority shall establish, maintain and operate in accordance with this Act, a consolidated national databank to be known as the National Civil and Identification Database for the collection and collation of identity information and demographic information regarding registrable

16. Purposes of Database.

The purposes of the Database are to –

  • provide a convenient method for individuals to prove identity information about themselves to others who reasonably require proof of that information;
  • provide a secure and reliable facility for ascertaining, recording, maintaining and preseiving identity information and demographic information relating to individuals as is required to be entered into it;
  • facilitate the generation and issuance of National Identification Cards and such other forms of identity documents, as required;
  • enable the processing of information to facilitate the verification of identity information and authentication of the National Identification Number and National Identification Card;
  • enable the generation of statistical information as may be required by the Statistical Institute ofJamaica established under the Statistics Act and the Planning Institute of Jamaica established under the Planning Institute of Jamaica Act; and
  • enable the reproduction of identity information and demographic information in legible form as may be required from time to

18. Purposes for which the Database may be used

The Authority may use the information in the Database solely for                                                        

  • to enable the use of d.entity .miormatl.on as um.que and
  • to enable the use of the information contained in the Database to generate and issue the National Identification Card with a National Identification Number to registrable individuals;unambiguous features of identifying registrable individuals;
  • for compiling and reporting statistical information derived from analysing the information stored in the Database;
  • to provide a medium for the verification of the identity information and authentication of the National Identification Number and National Identification Card; and
  • to facilitate the provision of a secure and reliable method for ascertaining, obtaining, maintaining and preserving information on registered individuals

4. Application and non-application of Act.

This Act applies to-

  • all citizens ofJamaica; and
  • individuals who are ordinarily resident in

(2) This Act shall not apply to persons who are entitled to immunities and privileges under the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act.

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