(CMR) Cabinet has approved the partial commencement, for mid-June, of the Identification Register Bill 2022 passed during the second meeting of the 2022-23 session of Parliament (December 2022).
The partial commencement facilitates components of the Register to be developed and tested before any live applications can be processed. It is, therefore, necessary for the Office of the ID Registrar and the ID Register to be established, which are tasks being led by the Ministry of Investment, Innovation & Social Development.
Cabinet’s approval also enables regulations to be drafted for both the Identification Register Bill 2022 and the National Identification Card Bill 2022, and these should be finalized later this year.
Deputy Governor, the Hon. Franz Manderson, has committed his ongoing support to the Civil Service leadership in deploying the underlying systems, processes, and solutions of the Cayman Islands ID card. During the second meeting of the 2022-23 session of Parliament in December, he stated:
“Fundamentally, Government should enable its citizens to prove their identity, because individual identity is an essential attribute of participating in society, the workforce and our community. This is the vision we are pursuing with these two bills, which will help immensely in our ambition to deliver world class service to our customers, the residents of the Cayman Islands.”
Tamara Ebanks, Acting Chief Officer of the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development, conveyed the enthusiasm of the Ministry and its departments in enabling the legislation to become operational over the coming months. Ms. Ebanks said,
“The Cayman Islands ID card will enable our residents to identify themselves online and in person – and enable Government entities to re-imagine how they can serve our people. It will enhance existing services and enable people to avail of myriad new digital services. We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in the public and private sector to leverage this new technology for the benefit of our people, community and Government.”
eGovernment has been working collaboratively with Estonia’s e-Governance Academy. Estonia is a world leader in e-governance and has used digital technology as a tool to empower its people. The country has achieved this largely by providing efficiencies with transparency that has freed up time and made life easier for its citizens.
Not dissimilar to its commitment to transparency with its people, Estonia has adopted the same approach to assisting other countries with implementing e-governance ecosystems around the world.
A civil servant technical delegation representing three Ministries of the Cayman Islands Government recently concluded a four-day visit to Estonia from May 29 to June 2, 2023. Alongside public sector policy and government representatives from dozens of countries, the delegation attended the e-Governance Academy’s “Digital Innovation as a Catalyst for Social Change” conference.
This delegation was the largest contingent of Cayman Islands representatives to have participated to date. It included key stakeholders from the Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development (MIISD), Ministry of Financial Services & Commerce (MFSC), and Ministry of Border Control & Labour (MBCL), whose collaboration and technical expertise are pivotal in ensuring seamless operations and efficient services to residents and businesses.
Summarising the delegation’s overall takeaways, Acting Deputy Chief Officer Charles Brown said, “The conference was an unprecedented opportunity to learn from Estonia’s leaders as well as others who are adopting its e-governance systems.”
“Every person representing the Cayman Islands Government benefitted from this information sharing at a high level and gained inspiration for the digital transformation of the Cayman Islands. We look forward to re-imagining delivery of Government services in line with these insights and the core principles of efficiency, security and integrity, ” he added.
Echoing Mr. Brown’s comments, eGovernment director Ian Tibbetts said, “It was an extremely productive trip, in terms of the valuable insights we were able to glean from other’s innovations and experiences, and most importantly, the opportunity for the CIG delegation to collectively spend a significant amount of time focused on action planning, how we can deliver greater benefits to the Cayman public and private sectors.”
The visit focused on engaging in discussions and knowledge sharing in Interoperability Onboarding and Operations, Digital ID Programme, Innovative eService Design, and Leveraging eSignatures.
These valuable insights reinforce the eGovernment Unit’s strategy for secure digital interoperability, emphasizing privacy and efficient digital services. While drawing inspiration from Estonia’s achievements, the Cayman Islands Government acknowledges the need for local adaptation and tailoring solutions to meet the distinctive needs of its community.
Transparency, public engagement, and data security are paramount in the Government’s approach. The Cayman Islands Government is committed to open dialogue, actively seeking feedback, and hosting public consultations to address any concerns related to data security, privacy, and collaboration with the public. Ensuring the well-being of residents and the protection of their interests remains central to the digital transformation journey and creating a robust and inclusive digital ecosystem that benefits all residents.