CIPFA’s new report, ‘Exploring blockchain technologies for collaboration and partnerships’, delivered in partnership with the Government Outcomes Lab at the University of Oxford, found that blockchain can help partnerships across public sector organisations by enabling efficient and secure information sharing. 

Key features of blockchain, such as immutability, decentralisation and programmability allow for the creation of networks that can be used to support collaboration across stakeholders and organisations.

Blockchain is considered ‘tamper proof’ so it can significantly improve accountability and transparency, which are both key to good public financial management. The report suggests that over the coming years blockchain has the potential to play an increasingly important role in how public services are delivered. 

The report draws from expert interviews, a survey of practitioners and stakeholders and case studies. It offers practical advice and best practice on the adoption of blockchain and explores the challenges that may be presented by it.

Commenting on this, CIPFA chief economist, Jeffrey Matsu, said: “Wider adoption of blockchain has the potential to improve public policy outcomes in more collaborative ways. 

“Digital ledgers can enable innovative ways of managing contracts and relationships that enhance transparency and confidence – delivering longer-term value.”

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CIPFA CEO, Rob Whiteman, added: “The public sector is currently under severe strain. There is increasing demand for public services and budgets are being stretched extremely thin. Because of this, we need to work smarter.

“I encourage the sector to explore new technologies, like blockchain, that will enable it to be more effective and efficient, while maintaining accountability and transparency.”