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CSA and NIR sign MoU for service delivery

Liberia’s National Identification Registry (NIR) says one of the challenges faced is for government ministries, agencies, commissions, and private institutions to use the National ID card.

By Naneka A. Hoffman

Monrovia, May 28, 2024: Liberia’s Civil Service Agency (CSA) and the National Identification Registry (NIR) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance collaboration for improved service delivery in the public sector.

At the signing of the MoU, NIR Executive Director Andrew Peters said the NIR is to advise and assist the government in improving and strengthening the collection, storage, evaluation, and security of information collected to register births, issue passports, and other identifications.

He said few weeks ago, they launched the roadmap for the comprehensive enrolment of citizens and legal foreign residents into the National Biometric Identification System (NBIS), the outcome of serious deliberations and brainstorming sessions. 

The NIR Boss explained that the roadmap outlines the interoperability capabilities of the NBIS (a verification platform to authenticate card holders; and an Application Program Interface (API) to link systems of other institutions to meet this requirement.

He added that one of the challenges they face is for government ministries, agencies, commissions, and private institutions to use the National ID card.

Mr. Peters continued that various institutions can have their biometric systems for other operational purposes, but the NIR data center should be used as the foundation for all biometric data to authenticate card holders. 

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He disclosed that this will help save money and time and prevent fraud, duplications, and double dipping.

“Our system can perform both individual and batch verifications seamlessly,” he explained.

Mr. Peters recalled that a few years ago, the NIR was involved in a tripartite relationship with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the CSA to help clean the government payroll.

According to Mr. Peters, the MoU is signed to enhance collaboration for improved service delivery in the public sector, a process by which the NIR and the CSA will work together using the NBIS to help in the GOL employees’ verification headcount process.

He mentioned that this memorandum also provides that civil servants’ working ID cards will now carry their National Identification Numbers (NIN).

He explained that this unique identification number becomes your social security number, which allows you to be quickly and easily linked to the NBIS.

“It is our hope that with this first step, gradually, an individual will have only his National ID Number attached to all documents, including driver’s license, passports, social security IDs, and banking IDs, instead of one individual having multiple ID numbers for every transaction or document,” he stated.

He thanked the CSA Director-General for grasping the true meaning of the NIR and making the bold decision to use the verification platforms and the subsequent development of an API that links the NBIS to enhance the CSA’s work.

He called on the public and private sectors to follow the CSA’s example of using the NBIS to save the institutions cash and time that can be allocated to other developmental projects and programs to move the country forward.

For his part, Cllr. N. Oswald Tweh, Liberia’s Minister of Justice, said collaborating and coordinating with each other will improve the government.

Cllr. Tweh said Liberia is lagging in plenty of things in the digital age, explaining that it’s about time to take steps.

He applauded the CSA and NIR on the negotiation and discussion that led to this movement.

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