ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- Grenada’s prime minister and minister responsible for ICT in Grenada, Tillman Thomas, has welcomed the launch of the multi-purpose identification (MPID) system, which he said will facilitate the easy recognition of citizens from participating countries through the use of a unique identifier that begins with the country code.
Through the MPID system, which was officially launched in Grenada on 28 January 2013, countries will also be able to establish agreements to utilize each other’s databases to verify the authenticity of the identification of travellers. Given that Grenada is the lead country in CARICOM for science and technology development, Thomas expressed satisfaction that the MPID system fulfills both CARICOM’s and the OECS’s agenda for the use of information and communication technology (ICT).
He further highlighted that the application of regional ICT and e-government solutions is essential to the economic union’s competitiveness and socio-ecological sustainability: “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.”
An official launch ceremony marked the commencement of the MPID system inception workshop from 28 to 30 January 2013 and the MPID system senior steering committee meeting from 31 January to 1 February 2013. The participants included senior government officials from the civil registry, legal affairs department, electoral office, immigration and passport division and the information technology divisions of the four participating countries.
The OECS EGRIP project manager, Karlene Francis, said the objective of the inception workshop was to discuss the MPID solution and gain feedback from the participants, while the objectives of the senior steering committee meeting were to discuss the requirements and framework for implementation of the MPID system in each country.
Francis emphasized the importance of the MPID system in facilitating the protection of citizens’ identity and the reduction in identity fraud. She further highlighted the following benefits of the MPID system:
• Provide a cost-effective, incremental approach to integrating existing identity systems;
• Provide a unique, interoperable, best practice means of identifying each OECS stakeholder;
• Yield savings through the implementation of a common framework for vetting and verification of citizens within each country and the region; and
• Enable a seamless and accurate free movement of persons to work and live across the OECS Economic Union.
3M Innovative Properties Limited was awarded a turnkey contract in December 2012 to supply, install, integrate, train, support and maintain of all technologies, hardware, software and related components for the MPID system at a single site in the four participating countries: Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Karen Marcotte, 3M project manager, noted that 3M has provided secure Identity management solutions since the mid 1980s.
The governments of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines have each received soft loan financing in an amount equivalent to US$2.4 million from the World Bank for implementation of the OECS electronic government for regional integration project (EGRIP). The loans are provided under a special facility of the concessional lending arm of the World Bank, the International Development Association (IDA).