Blockchain Can Reshape Global e-Government Procurement, Say World Bank Experts

Experts with ties to the World Bank Group presented options for using blockchain in e-government procurement (e-GP) in a report released Wednesday, Oct. 17.

The World Bank Group includes organizations commonly known together as the World Bank.

e-GP, which refers to business-to-government purchase and sale of anything from goods and services to data exchange, has spawned complex structures in many countries, which blockchain technology could help simplify and otherwise “enhance,” the report’s authors say.

“Though the implementation of e-GP systems has contributed to enhanced efficiency and transparency in Government Procurement, there is potential for further advancement of the existing systems,” the document — which was developed for the Asian Development Bank — reads.

Countries such as India have over 50 such e-GP structures, which conversely leads to inefficiency, the report notes. Only a select few states worldwide, including Bangladesh and the Philippines, have “had success in implementing a unified e-GP platform.”

Going forward, researchers expect the ecosystem to become less fragmented, also advocating blockchain usage on a global scale.

“In a decade or so, it is expected that in excess of 80% of Government procurement transactions will be processed online in a couple of hundred e-GP systems spread across the World,” the researchers continue, adding:

“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.”

In January of this year, U.S. government agencies began researching blockchain solutions in procurement as part of a wider evaluation of the technology’s potential use cases.