62 Data entry clerks at the General Register Office (GRO) are being trained to enter births, deaths, marriages and adoption records from 1987 to as far back as 1869 into a database that aims, to ensure the more efficient functioning of the GRO.
According to Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, “the first benefit from [digitising] these records since 1869 is that you ought to be able to print a birth certificate and we ought to be able to search for a name electronically … Once [a person] is registered, the record will be here.”
GRO located Guyana Post Office Corporation building.
The Minster also explained that the overall aim of the project is to ensure that each citizen has one identification card that will capture all relevant information from birth to death and that will include biometric information such as fingerprints and possibly retinal scans that will erase the need for additional forms of identification such as a National Insurance Scheme (NIS) card and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
“The input of the data is really the first stage in digitising the birth records … after the records have been digitised, from there we will proceed to producing a … printed birth certificate … and hopefully from there, each citizen will get a unique number… and as a result of that, we’ll be able to digitise the records and have it on your National Identification Card,” he said.
The two-year project started on February 1, 2016. Once training for staff is completed and the database server is fully operational.