Donna Scott Mottley, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate
Following twelve hours of deliberations and 168 amendments the National Identification and Registration Bill was passed in the Senate last night.
The Bill, when it becomes law, will facilitate the implementation of a National Identification System.
Each citizen will be provided with a randomized nine-digit National Identification Number which they will have for life.
Leader of Government Business in the Senate Kamina Johnson-Smith outlined the process for the introduction of the legislation which will return to the House of Representatives for approval and then on to the Governor-General for assent.
The implementation and management of the National Identification System will be handled by a new agency, the National Identification and Registration Authority. The Authority will replace the Registrar General Department (RGD).
Leader of Opposition Business Senator Donna Scott Mottley addressed the Upper House following the passage of the Bill, noting that, while making 168 amendments, the process would have been a better one had it gone to a Committee of Parliament. She also noted that there are still fundamental disagreements.
Nevertheless, she said that "if we had started out in the kind of spirit of cooperation with which we ended today, we perhaps would have had a better feel of what we've done."