Bill 72.18 aims to modernize Morocco’s social support programs through the establishment of two digital population registers and a management agency to effectively identify those who qualify to receive social benefits.
Rabat – The Interior, Local Authorities, and Infrastructure Commission in the House of Advisors, or upper house of Parliament, adopted Thursday Bill 72.18 related to beneficiaries of Morocco’s social support programs.
Morocco’s state news agency reported the bill received 11 favorable votes, no votes against, and two abstentions during a June 17 meeting held in the presence of the Minister Delegate for the Interior, Noureddine Boutayeb.
The Commission made a series of amendments to Bill 72.18, aiming to set up a national registration system for individuals and households wishing to benefit from Morocco’s social support programs that are supervised by public administrations, local authorities, and public bodies.
The text calls for a “national population register,” a “unified social register,” and a National Registers’ Agency responsible for managing the system of Morocco’s social support programs and their beneficiaries.
National population register
Under the proposed national population register, personal data relating to Moroccan citizens and foreign residents in the country will undergo electronic processing. The goal of the register is to effectively identify those who wish to add their names to the proposed unified social register. To benefit from social support programs, individuals’ identity and information must be verifiable, a task made easier through digital platforms.
The processing and usage of data from the proposed registers should take place in compliance with Law 09.08 relating to the protection of individuals’ information.
Those who are registered should receive a unique digital identifier called “digital civil and social identifier” from the National Registers’ Agency.
Unified social register
The unified social register would contain the list of families that registered for social benefits. Their socio-economic data would be collected, recorded, protected, and updated electronically. For a family to register for social benefits, each family member must already be listed in the national population register.
A regulatory text should specify the calculations the digital registers would use to rank families, depending on their need for social benefits.
Any member of a family listed in the unified social register would be able to request to annul their inclusion in accordance with the relevant procedures specified in the regulatory text. Removing an individual from the unified social register would not remove them from the national population register.
National Registers’ Agency
The National Registers’ Agency would be established as a public Moroccan institution with “legal personality and financial independence” under Bill 72.18. The agency would serve to manage both the national population register and the unified social register.
The agency would be responsible for maintaining, managing, and updating the national population register and the unified social register. The agency must ensure individuals’ data is protected and consolidate the integrity of the information-processing systems. It should do so in line with the current legislative and regulatory texts concerning information system security.
The agency should also check the validity of the data authorized in the national population register and the unified social register. The agency would be responsible for compiling the list of families eligible to benefit from social support programs in Morocco and making them available to the supervising public administrations, local authorities, and public bodies.
Finally, the National Registers’ Agency would decide on all government questions related to social support programs and, on behalf of the state and in coordination with the relevant officials, contribute to evaluations of the various programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic and cessation of many in-person administrative activities have shown Moroccan decision-makers that the time has come to digitize the country’s institutions. By establishing digital population registers, Bill 72.18 aims to modernize Morocco’s social support programs and better serve those in precarious socio-economic situations who qualify for benefits.