President Uhuru Kenyatta today presided over the launch of an integrated registration system that will bring data on all people in Kenya in one place and make e-government a reality.
The Integrated Population Registration System (IPRS) is one of the flagship projects of the Jubilee Government, which had promised Kenyans a central database that can be the source of truth of identity on all Kenyan citizens and all foreign nationals resident in the country.
President Kenyatta launched the system today at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre where he said credible data is critical for development and indispensable for planning and delivery of public services.
The IPRS is an initiative aimed at consolidating population registration information into a single database for ease of verification by both Government and private bodies.
The project concept is composed of two major parts with the first one being the establishment of a National Population Register (NPR) with data on all Kenyan citizens and foreign residents.
The second component is a unique identifier (PIN) that is assigned to every person’s record at birth, which then acts as a reference in all transactions regarding that person.
The NPR works with two sets of agencies — primary registration agencies that include Civil Registration Department, National Registration Bureau, Immigration Department and Department of Refugees’ Affairs.
It also works with another set of agencies referred to as secondary registration agencies that use the date and also update the register. The secondary registration agencies include NSSF, KRA and NHIF.
The NPR is currently linked to all the primary registration agencies.
President Kenyatta asked all secondary agencies to link up with the IPRS to make service provision easier.
The President said putting information in a single database is good for trade, investment and job creation.
While the increased interconnectivity is boosting business, it has also brought dangers by offering opportunities for corruption, trafficking, money laundering and terrorism.
“It is therefore imperative for Government to have the means to collect, verify and administer data on every individual resident in our country,” he said.
The President said such data is necessary for Government to provide adequate and efficient socioeconomic services to citizens.
President Kenyatta said the policy to come up with the integrated registration system was necessitated by the realisation that the documentation system in use in the country was a cumbersome and old system.
Under the old information system, anyone desiring information on an individual has to navigate huge volumes of manual data in different places and verification and due diligence information is difficult.
“This challenge hampers the capacity of stakeholders to detect or prevent fraud, impersonation or other criminal activity. It also makes it costly to generate proper planning information” President Kenyatta said.
A demonstration of the system showed how all documents ranging from birth certificate, school certificate, KRA PIN, and other documents can be accessed at the touch of a button.
When a person dies, the system marks the individual as deceased, information which will be useful during elections.
Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Maj General (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery said the new system will help security agencies in controlling criminal activities.
The Cabinet Secretary, under whose ministry the IPRS falls, said the new information system will be useful in all sectors of public and private service.
The CS said the IPRS is being updated with information provided by primary registration agencies and will soon have data on all people resident in Kenya.
Before the launch, President Kenyatta was taken a tour of exhibition stands by Government agencies, major telecom companies, banks and other institutions that are already using data from the IPRS central database.