PAPUA New Guinea’s National Identity Card project came to fruition in late October, with officials now hoping to register over seven million citizens as part of the plan.

At a workshop held to launch the project, acting secretary for the Department of National Planning and Monitoring Juliana Kubak said it was first time Papua New Guinea had used communications technology in this way.

“We are targeting to identify and register over four million citizens above the age of 18 and well over three million people under the age of 18 years,” Ms Kubak said.

The system will provide basic population counts daily, monthly and annually for the purposes of policy, planning and monitoring, as well as privacy and identity protection of individual citizens in the country.

The compulsory multipurpose card system has features similar to those used for banking, but features a tamper-resistant memory and will contain personal information such as date of birth, address, sex, occupation, photograph and fingerprints that will be stored automatically in the database system after registration.

Ms Kubak said provinces without a registry office should be looking to construct them as a matter of urgency.

“If there are no fixed offices, there will be no registration in your province,” she said.

Up to 200 teams will be formed for the roll out exercise as of March 2015 where each team will consist of a leader, two data entry operators and security personnel.

Mobile kits for registration were also being assembled and tested for roll out.

The kits comprise a high resolution camera, a scanner for fingerprints and laptop for registration purposes.