Big Four auditing company Ernst & Young has launched a platform designed to enhance transparency in public spending, called OpsChain Public Finance Manager (PFM). The platform will put public funds, budgets and expenditures in the blockchain, where they can reportedly be clearly seen and tracked by citizens.
According to EY, the PFM platform will also provide valuable insight related to the effectiveness of different policies and initiatives. PFM will purportedly enable public funds to be matched to specific outcomes, making it easier to see if funds were well spent or not.
Mark MacDonald, EY Global’s leader of Public Finance Management, offered this on the release: “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.” By being built on blockchain technology, funds can be tracked through the multiple stages and agencies it goes through. This will provide financial and non-financial information related to performance that will reportedly lead to more informed policy decisions in the future.
The platform has already been tested in a number of cities, including Toronto, where it kept track of financial transfers between government divisions. According to the auditing firm, this test was successful in increasing transparency and efficiency within the government of Toronto.