Today, professional services provider Ernst & Young (EY) launched a blockchain solution for governments to manage public funds. The EY OpsChain Public Finance Manager (PFM) is designed to help governments improve transparency, track budgets, expenditures, results and increase accountability.
Traditionally, government bodies allocate funds for specific purposes and contract third party agencies to carry out the work. For example, the federal government might issue a certain amount of money for public works for a state, which allocates it to various departments under it for specific projects. The accounting becomes complex when federal, state and public institutions are working on the same project in different capacities.
EY says its solution can track public funds in real-time and create a single source of performance information. This will help governments make better decisions with regards to allocating funds for development. While EY did not say so, such a solution can also reduce corruption and siphoning of public funds by bureaucrats and politicians.
“Modern public financial management requires focusing on the things that matter most – transparency, accountability and robust evidence for decision-making – all factors that can be enhanced by blockchain technology,” said Mark MacDonald, EY Global Public Finance Management Leader.
MacDonald added: “EY OpsChain PFM is an exciting new tool that helps public finance leaders to assess and improve their finance management systems.”
In April 2017, EY launched its blockchain solution Ops Chain. It is a customized version of the Ethereum blockchain. It now has both private consortium versions of the solution as well as a public edition which uses Zero-Knowledge Proofs for privacy and works on the public Ethereum network.
PFM is built on Ops Chain, and a trial has already been conducted in Toronto. Last year, EY said it was working with the City of Vienna for a blockchain-based document authentication solution.
In July, EY said it was one of the many recipients of a $49 million blockchain contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Among other blockchain projects, EY and Microsoft announced a solution for managing content rights and royalties for gaming. The company also launched a marine insurance platform InsurWave with Maersk as the first client.