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Guyana signs multi-million dollar contract for new identification system

March 11, 2023

CMC – The Guyana government Friday signed a US$34.5 million contract with the German-based provider of integrated identity solutions, Veridos to implement an electronic identification system locally resulting in new identification numbers and cards for nationals.

The authorities said that the system, once fully implemented, will also help the government with its issuance of work permits and other necessary documentation for resident identification.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali as well as Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, were present during the virtual signing at State House that was broadcast live and attended also by representatives from Veridos and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“After a long process, today I’m happy we are at a stage we can sign this contract and move towards implementation,” President Ali said in an apparent reference to Guyana’s request to the UAE in October 2021 for assistance for the new initiative.

The authorities said the new ID system will be tailored to Guyana and boasts a range of features including but not limited to greater privacy, ISO certification, cross-border protection, and acceptance by the International Civil Aviation Organization for international travel.

“We are advancing our work in the technological transformation to position Guyana to be among those countries that are ready for the new digital age,” Ali added.

The system allows for the capturing of an individual’s biographic and biometric information which will be stored centrally but printed on laser-engraved polycarbonate material using black-and-white technology with secure pre-printed designs. It will carry a chip to allow for the integration of a variety of services.

President Ali said the new system “promotes the idea of one citizen, one identity, assigning a unique national identification number to all citizens,” pointing also to the expanded benefits for the private sector, particularly the banking sector.

The cards offer fingerprint verification for cardholders with the current need for proof of address when conducting transactions at financial institutions to soon be eliminated.

The system altogether will share data internationally but focuses locally on an integrated identification system across government agencies and the private sector.

“The privacy aspect of this card is second to none,” Ali said.

For the implementation of the project, there will be a central ID processing system, pre, mobile, and fixed enrollment stations, delivery stations, laser engraving, and the development of a biometric engine to store records, making it available internationally.

The cards will be produced at the company’s facilities where there is full European Union Security level clearance.

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