Immigration department upgrades systems

May 13, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, May 12 – The Immigrations Department has increased the number of Identification Cards (IDs) it can process from 5,000 to 40,000 applications everyday after upgrading its Data Centre, officials said on Monday.

National Registration Department Director Reuben Kimotho has pointed out that the upgrade has minimised the backlog in the department.

“The printing machine that we have is old, but what we did is to put programs in the data system, which enables us to process 40,000 applications everyday,” enthused Kimotho.

He has promised that the registration department would also work to reduce the tediousness involved in acquiring IDs, by knocking off various requirements.

“To make it easier for people to get IDs, we have abolished harsh requirements like the provision of your grandparent’s birth certificate and now you can apply using just your parent’s certificate,” the Director stated.

He announced that the department had also put in place an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), in an effort to minimise cases of fraud in the issuance of IDs.

Kimotho illustrated that the system would ensure that no double registration takes place.

The AFIS system would be used to store and match fingerprints, as well as contain unique details of each applicant that cannot be replicated.

“When an applicant applies for an ID, your fingerprints are checked against 20 million others.”

“If someone had registered as a refugee and you apply for an ID, the system will reject you because you had applied as an alien,” he added.

Kimotho further revealed that the department was in the process of modernising the process of making the identification cards.

“The ID card we have now is 13 years old and the kind of processes and technology used now was advanced in its time, but needs to be improved,” he stated.

“The modern material IDs either are hydro-carbonate or polyester, but not the polythene we use now. Of course it’s going to have more security features. It should also be an ID that is history-usable, by other organisations.”


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