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AGD To Introduce Biometrics In Identifying Pensioners

AGD To Introduce Biometrics In Identifying Pensioners
Accountant General, Carlene Murdock, speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank about the move to introduce biometrics to identify pensioners.
(Media Credit: R. Fraser)

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Paper-based life certificates may soon become a thing of the past as the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) looks to implement biometrics as a means of identifying pensioners. Accountant General, Carlene Murdock, said the Department is actively working towards implementing this feature. “What this will mean … is that the old order of the life certificates as we know it will change. No longer will a certificate be mailed to a pensioner; no longer will the pensioner have to take it to the Justice of the Peace (JP), or another certifier; no longer will the pensioner have to mail it to us,” she told JIS News. Mrs. Murdock noted that arrangements will be made for persons who suffer from physical disabilities and cannot be identified by biometrics.

Biometrics is a security process that relies on unique physical, or behavioural, characteristics as a means of verifying personal identity.

The oldest and most common form of biometric verification is fingerprinting.

Other forms include voice identification, and facial recognition.

The Accountant General said the use of biometric authentication will significantly lessen processing time, as the “pensioners’ information will be recorded in a quicker fashion”.

While not giving a specific timeline for the implementation of the feature, Mrs. Murdock said she hopes it will happen this year.

A life certificate is an official document that is used to verify that a pensioner is still alive, and is, therefore, eligible to continue receiving a pension.

The AGD sends a life certificate to each pensioner every three months to be signed certified or notarised and returned by the end of the following month