ISLAMABAD: The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) is under public scrutiny after many citizens have found a printing mistake on their newly issued smart identity cards.
Initial investigation has revealed that NADRA has issued approximately 7,000 smart identification cards, bearing the identity tracking number instead of the CNIC number.
A senior official at NADRA said that a consignment containing the misprinted cards was dispatched to different NADRA centres across the country but they had to be recalled after some citizens complained about the misprint. When the consignment was recalled, it was discovered that the entire batch of cards was carrying the misprint.
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A fact finding inquiry was conducted by NADRA Director Lt Col (retd) Taimoor Saeed Rathore, who said that not only is the error a great inconvenience to the citizens waiting for their cards, it is also one that would cause financial losses of up to Rs1 million to the authority.
The inquiry officer named five officials – including two director ranked officers of the authority – for their laid-back attitude which led to the misprint and the resulting embarrassment for the institution.
“Keeping the findings of the inquiry in mind, the NADRA chairperson has directed that NADRA Operations DG Brig (retd) Nasar Ahmed Mir be given relevant authority to carry out a detailed investigation into the quality control staff for their negligent attitude, which manifest defiance to the existing SOPs and routine procedures of the department,” read an order calling for a detailed inquiry.
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The officials being blamed for negligence say that this was not a human error and a lapse occurred while new machines were being tested.
In 2012, NADRA introduced smart national identity cards (SNICs) claiming that they would be equipped with at least 30 security features, along with a chip that would enable biometric identification and also function as an ATM and insurance card. The card was also supposed to function as an alternative to passport for identification at international airports.
Although it has been six years since the introduction of the SNICs, they still only function like standard identity cards with the exception of the chip they contain.