ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- Grenada’s Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has welcomed a new multi-purpose identification system (MPID) for citizens of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The system provides a cost-effective, incremental approach to integrating existing identity systems across the OECS and will offer a unique, inter-operable, best practice means of identifying each OECS stakeholder.
“As we deepen the integration process across our island states, the system will enable the seamless and accurate free movement of persons to work and live across the economic union; and provide a fee-for-service for non-government entities to access a web portal to use the vetting and verification services,” the prime minister said.
The MPID system, which fulfills both CARICOM’s and the OECS’s agenda for increasing the use of information and communication technology (ICT), allows for interactive and participatory involvement of the region’s citizens, and was designed based on consumer needs, as well as, the need for public sector efficiency and effectiveness.
The prime minister was speaking just days after the OECS marked the second anniversary of the OECS Economic Union on January 21, which set the stage for deeper OECS integration, resulting in a single financial and economic space for all factors of production – goods, services, capital and people, to move without hindrance.
“This will provide direct benefits to the people of the OECS, by facilitating seamless travel for purposes of gainful employment, setting up business, trading, education, as well as for leisure,” the prime minister said on Tuesday.
The MPID system, which will be implemented in Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, will facilitate the easy recognition of citizens from participating countries through the use of a unique identifier, which begins with the country code.
The new system will allow countries to utilize each other’s databases to authenticate the identification on non-national OECS citizens, thereby enhancing security in the sub-region.
The launch of the MPID system in Grenada is part of the government’s plan for improving the lives of OECS citizens by creating “a development strategy” to help countries emerge from the global financial crisis and to build stronger, smarter, sustainable and inclusive economies.