The opposition People's National Party (PNP) says it is still waiting to be contacted by the National Identification System (NIDS) team to begin consultations on the revised policy.
Opposition spokesman on Technology Julian Robinson says the opposition stands ready to support the legislation once it is consistent with the constitution and supports the objective for technological development in the country.
In an interview with RJR News this morning, Mr Robinson said he noted the surprise of Prime Minister Andrew Holness in the House of Representatives on Tuesday that consultations with the opposition had not yet started.
He also said hopes the conversation will begin soon.
“I hope that we will be formally notified and that the draft bill will be shown to us so that we can give our input. But even more importantly not just us as the opposition because there are a wide range of stakeholders who I know have not been consulted. And as I said in Parliament, I don’t think we don’t want to make with the first bill. We want to ensure that whatever comes to Parliament has broad based national support and most importantly is consistent with our constitution. .We gave a commitment that it would be subject to a joint select committee but if you do the consultations before, then it should shorten the time period it has to spend in a joint select committee.”
The Prime Minister told the House of Representatives that a revised national identification policy has been completed and is now being reviewed by stakeholders.
He said that review is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.
The identification project was halted due to a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, which rendered the NIDS legislation null and void.
The project is being implemented under a US$68-million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.
Robinson also said that there has to be consultations on a draft bill, which he says must be subjected to intense scrutiny.
The opposition spokesman also wants the prime minister to sit down with the opposition on this.
“I would believe that given everything that has taken place, that the Government would sit down with us .... from the legislative perspective, I believe that he (the Prime MInister) would reach out to the opposition leader and show us what is being proposed.”