World Bank Group Experts Say Blockchain Is Essential to Boost Efficiency Across Governments


World Bank Group-Linked Experts Say Blockchain Is Essential To Boost Efficiency Across Governments

A new study authored by Dr. Ramanathan Somasundaram and S. M. Quamrul Hasan, both researchers specializing in government procurement, proposes the development of a blockchain network to boost efficiency across government procurement systems worldwide.

The report was published this Thursday promoting blockchain tech in a technological program for the Asian Development Bank.

As of now, there are about 250 e-government procurement (e-GP) systems installed around the world. While these systems have the potential to improve government transparency, the siloed nature of the systems hinders their further progress. The authors suggest the development of a blockchain system which can be deployed across worldwide governments' systems, with each participating as network nodes to access supplier databases in different domains.

The study demonstrates that this approach can possibly eradicate current difficulties, including vendors having to file multiple times for entry on different procurement databases, and as a benefit would give each government real-time visibility of a vendor's actual workload.

“Often, a bidder which is already overloaded with contracts pending completion is awarded additional contracts primarily due to lack of knowledge about the pending work-in-hand,” the authors go on to say.

Apart from these clear benefits, building a distributed network across governments and supporting banks could ensure that the procure-to-pay (P2P) cycle is automated and completed digitally.

The authors write:

“The e-GP Blockchain network should be extended to enable Banks located anywhere in the world to seamlessly submit authenticated Electronic Performance Bank Guarantees on behalf of a Supplier in any of the networked e-GP systems.”

This paper, while not implying directly, indicates interest from the Asian Development Bank in exploring the use of blockchain technology to improve government operations, especially in the Asian economies. A genuine step ahead would be to prepare well-defined funding requirements for the proposed network and to select at least “three neighboring countries with active international bidder participation” to participate in a pilot test.

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