E-ID Card project ‘alive and going well’ despite delay– VP Jagdeo

The government’s plan to launch its National Electronic Identification Card (e-ID) system is still moving along, according to Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo.

Updating reporters at his press conference at the Office of the President on Thursday, the VP said that the project may be experiencing some delays as local stakeholders gear up for its implementation.

The electronic cards will encompass an array of services, including e-health and e-schools.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“We want to build a whole range of things. It would transform all these sectors, including security, police, and security matters,” he said.

Dr Jagdeo also said, “I know the company is working, but there could be some delays because we have to also get the local team to manage all of this here, because this database will be crucial for everything.”

He added that these cards will not replace the identification cards issued by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), but would rather complement them.

“We did not change the ID card requirement. This is a second ID. We didn’t want to deal with the ID that GECOM issues independently,” Dr Jagdeo explained.

In 2023, the government signed a US$35.4 million contract with German-based company Veridos Identity Solutions to implement the Single Electronic Identification System. This was to implement a robust national identity management system that focuses on the integration of identification services across government agencies, security, ease of use, and acquisition of IDs.

The implementation of the electronic ID card, coupled with the implementation of the principles outlined in the recently passed Data Protection Bill, will cohesively create a comprehensive digital reservoir of personal information.

Through the passage of the Digital Identity Card Bill of 2023, the project mandates the registration of citizens 14 years and over.

Data that would be entered into the new identification card includes a person’s name, date and place of birth, photo or facial image satisfying the requirements for a photograph, unique identification number, sex, citizenship, fingerprints, and signature.

Moreover, protection of the data collected for this registry will be in accordance with the requirements under the Data Protection Act.

Budget 2024 allocated some $783.4 million, and issuance of these cards is expected to begin in the second quarter of this year.

The project aligns with the government’s push for a more modernised and efficient landscape.