Nowhere to hide for adult Kenyans as registration ministry automates

Kenya’s Ministry of Immigration and Registrar of persons has completed the creation of an Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS) that will enable financial institutions, employers and law and order agencies to store all data for any Kenyan at a central source.

According to the minister in charge of immigration and registration Gerald Otieno Kajwang, the system will first be used in banks to verify details of customers interacting with the financial institutions, particularly to counter fraud.

“The central bank governor has been asking my ministry on the sidelines to ensure that fraud is reduced by stripping people of the ability to visit banks with other people’s identification cards. This should deal with it,” he said.

HumanIPO has exclusively learnt that the project that kicked off almost two years ago has interlinked the ministry’s database with those of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC), the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the Public Service Commission (PSC), the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), as well as telecommunication companies and government agencies.

For those travelling in and out of the country, the IPRS is further linked with the electronic border management system.

According to the director of the project George Anyango, the system now leaves Kenyans more secure and criminals with a lot to worry about.

“We now have the 360 degree view of any citizen above the age of 18 years,” Anyango told HumanIPO.

The new development has cost the state KSh120 million and is further expected to pave the way for the third generation identity cards, expected to be issued in 2013.

“The ID cards will have a lot more information stored in them as they will have a chip and to get the holders information one will just have to insert the card to a reader. For those using the cards fingerprint verification will be required,” added Kajwang.

The ministry says that although the system is available for any financial institutions to use currently it will take about 6 months for its full ‘operationalisation.’

Anyango says the system is up to global standards, only comparable to the social number system in the United States, with the hardware sourced from global ICT firm Hewlett Packard and the software created by Ukrainian consortium Edeps.

The system is also expected to be interlinked with the Nairobi CCTV system that is currently on phase 1.

The announcement also comes days after the Ministry of Information and Communications announced that it will tag Internet users with electronic identification to fight cybercrime cases.

For now, the ministry says it expects electronic related crime to reduce with the infrastructure in place to monitor and nab the perpetrators.

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