EY launches blockchain solution for financial management of public funds

16 Oct 2019

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Professional services firm EY is hoping to drive transparency in public sector finance with its new blockchain solution.

EY has launched a new blockchain-enabled solution, OpsChain Public Finance Manager (PFM), designed to help governments monitor how they financially manage public funds. It is built on the company’s existing OpsChain platform.

The system, EY claims, will use blockchain technology to match government spending programmes with tangible outcomes, tracking expenditures through all of the strata of government through which they have to pass. The system sets out to create a single source of integrated financial and non-financial performance information to support decision making.

“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,” explained Mark MacDonald, EY global public finance management leader.

“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.”

Testing new technologies

The OpsChain PFM has already been trialled in various corners of the world, including the city of Toronto. The city tested it for the way reconciliations and interdivisional fund transfers are managed as part of its ongoing financial transformation efforts.

Heather Taylor, chief financial officer for the city of Toronto, said: “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.”

The use of blockchain to promote transparency has become popular across multiple industries. The Irish Red Cross, for example, partnered last year with Aid:Tech to track charity donations and ensure transparency from donor to beneficiary.

The app created by Aid:Tech, TraceDonate, allows donors to give funds to individuals, groups and appeals that are created and managed by each NGO and charity signed up to the scheme.

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic