By Thameenah Razeek
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal to implement a unitary digital identification framework that has been finalised by the committee, entrusted with the planning of relevant programmes.
The Cabinet gave its consent to appoint a Presidential Task Force to establish a unitary digital identification framework.
Addressing the weekly Cabinet Media briefing held on 17 November, Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella emphasised that as the President pledged to initiate a smart nation in his manifesto, the Government took its maiden step to create such by recording all details of an individual from birth to death.
In addition, permission was granted to entrust the responsibility to implement the unitary digital identification framework project to the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and to implement an electronic-national identity card project in collaboration with the ICTA and the Department of the Registration of Persons.
Permission was granted to make amendments to the Registration of Persons Act, No. 32 of 1968, to implement the unitary digital identification framework and the e-national identity card project and to finalise the project by 31 December 2022.
“The Government is following a unitary digital identity framework and a strategy that facilitates the same to realise the objective of a skillful nation and the same has been given priority as a national level programme,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet approved the resolution submitted by the President for restructuring the ICTA, so that duties including recommending a national digital policy and strategies that should be implemented during 2020-2025 under the new policy of the Government can be performed.
Accordingly, three new programme units are recommended to be inaugurated as per the said policy. The first is digital Government with the implementation of programmes for the operation of the digital transformation process of State agencies and taking measures to empower citizens through such programmes.
The second is the digital economy which means capacity development, the inauguration of innovations, entrepreneurship as well as the inauguration of new companies and providing facilitation as required for the industries, thereby creating favourable grounds for direct foreign investments. The third is digital services.
This includes activities such as consultancy services required for the establishment, management and maintenance of information technology infrastructure facilities needed for digital services and Government services as well as the inauguration and maintenance of digital transformation or conversion processes.