Today, one of the big four accounting firms, Ernst & Young, announced the launch of EY OpsChain Public Finance Manager (PFM) blockchain to help governments improve processes for financial management of public funds.
While government bodies usually allocate funds for different projects and contract third-party agencies to carry out work, EY claims this initiative will help governments track budgets, expenditures and results using blockchain to match spending programs with tangible outcomes, despite funds passing through several service agency layers and various public and private institutions working on the same project in different roles.
EY also claims that it will provide clear and accurate information for financial reporting, while increasing administrative efficiency with the ability to track funds in real time by integrating financial and non-financial performance information.
As part of its ongoing financial management transformation efforts, the city of Toronto has also adopted and tested the applications of PFM to see how reconciliations and interdivisional fund transfers are managed. According to the city of Toronto’s CFO Heather Taylor,
“With a commitment to championing the economic, social and environmental vitality of the city of Toronto, our officials strive to implement technologies that best help us meet our residents’ evolving needs. Testing new technologies is part of our ongoing approach to financial management transformation taking place at the city.”
EY Austria had previously assisted the city of Vienna in using blockchain to help facilitate transparency and security of data for use on public transport routes and voting results. EY’s Global Public Finance Management Leader, Mark MacDonald said,
“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. EY OpsChain PFM is an exciting new tool that helps public finance leaders to assess and improve their finance management systems. It has been very exciting to work with city leaders who continue to push boundaries and embrace new technologies.”
With the United States federal government expected to increase its blockchain spending to over $123 million by 2022, there are those who believe this could aid in lowering corruption levels by making it more difficult for politicians and bureaucrats to siphon money from public funds.