UK House of Lords Advocates Blockchain Technology for Public Sector Services

A paper published by the House of Lords advocates using blockchain technology for a variety of public sector applications.

With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, the underlying blockchain technology is getting a lot of exposure as well. Governments are considering this technology as a way to not only increase the efficiency of their services but also reduce fraud and corruption within their institutions.

The UK’s House of Lords has just published a paper in which it sent a clear message in support of blockchains and their possible uses within public sector administration.

“The UK has already taken a leading role in developing legislative, regulatory and institutional measures that provide a sound legal framework within which DLT development can take place. The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 sets new standards for internet‐related law enforcement, while the Data Protection Bill looks beyond the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to create and protect rights in relation to personal data before and after Brexit. The UK is well‐placed to include DLT as a key component in its digital strategy, yielding benefits for national and individual security,” the paper reads.

Uses for blockchain technology, in their view, include border control, national security, tax management, health assurance, food standards and safety, cybersecurity, and public procurement. Other uses may include institutional accountability and the ability for citizens to enjoy more privacy of information.

The paper proposes that the UK government initiate several small-scale pilot programs with a “preparedness-to-fail” and “Learn by Doing” culture.

Among some of the suggestions, they include cross-departmental collaboration for the delivery of public services via blockchain technology.

The tone of this paper is much like the tone of Reform UK’s proposal, which petitioned that the government should place different forms of identification on a blockchain-managed structure that would help citizens secure their privacy and increase their ability to choose what information they provide to various government institutions.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to transform the future of identity management. By embracing this technology, the UK government will ensure that it is a digital state looking to the future,” the report read.

Perhaps their efforts were effective in convincing the House of Lords to take a gander at this technology after all.