The news dropped last week there is a plan afoot to charge $60.00 for the controversial national ID card after 30 June 2023. This revelation was made by the Chief Electoral Officer Angela Taylor. The Barbados Today press report is date stamped 6 June 2023, to date the blogmaster has NOT picked up on a single clarification statement from the Chief Electoral Officer or Davidson Ishmael who is the minister responsible. Barbadians have to assume the $60 charge has received the blessings of the Mottley led Cabinet.
The blogmaster suspects the ‘thought process’ behind the $60 charge is intended to light a fire under citizens who have been slow to apply for the new ID for whatever reason. Under normal conditions one would have no serious issue with the fee but the Trident National ID project has been and continues to be fraught with problems. There have been operational issues, procurement issues, poor communications, inefficient distribution to identify some. All the issues have led to growing distrust by citizens about the ID card, made worse in a COVID 19 era.
The country needs a 21st century working ID card. The fact the ID card must utilize the best technology available is a no-brainer. Further, that it must be integrated into a national strategy to drive efficiency how we do business to help with productivity, an imperative. However, what the ID project confirms is a public service that is bedevilled with poor skillsets to expertly implement projects.
Some aspects of the project must be refreshed especially relating to the pieces requiring public engagement. Come on, we can do better.
On the subject of the Electoral Office it raises the question – if the department is showing itself to be ineffective with the rollout of the ID project, what does it say about that department’s capacity to manage our electoral affairs?