Committee: E-ID good for nation

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday December 17th, 2013


THE positives of setting up a national electronic-identification system outweigh concerns raised, chairwoman of the system’s advisory committee, says.

Dr Esther Lavu, a senior research fellow at the National Research Institute, said the main reason for the system was to achieve efficiency in government operations for better service delivery 

“The system is basically for development purposes,” Lavu said.

She said the project was a government initiative aimed at establishing a central database from which identification cards were to be issued for every PNG citizen.

“The proposed database is known as the Population Information Management System or PIMS,” Lavu said.

She said the system would address issues such as the civil registries to voter rolls, health records to social transfers and public payrolls to pension payments.

“The system can reduce red-tape in public transactions as well.

“It can be used for biometrics (identification of humans by their characteristics and traits), forensics and security reasons.”

Lavu said with a literacy rate of about 60%, it would be a challenge for people to understand and accept new ideas such as the system.

“Human rights advocates and other interest groups have claimed that the system violates citizens basic right to privacy, more so, the fear is that the government can keep track of personal activities,” Lavu said.

She said that was not the case as the system would be designed in a way where these issues would be put to rest.

“The issues raised will be addressed by the responsible government agency and a nominated contractor appointed by the government to deal with them as we go along.”