Blockchain Technology Revolutionizes Government Auctions: Enhancing Transparency and Efficiency in the UK Public Sector
The incorporation of blockchain technology within the public sector of the United Kingdom represents a notable advancement in the pursuit of increased transparency and equity in governmental auctions. The Controller General’s Department (CGD), which falls under the purview of the Finance Ministry and is tasked with overseeing procurement procedures, has officially announced the enforcement of these measures as of April of the current year. This decision is in line with the government’s continuous efforts towards digitization.
The controller-general underscored the significance of blockchain technology in safeguarding the confidentiality of bid prices until the conclusion of the auction. This feature proves advantageous for both bidders and government agencies participating in the auction. The encrypted bid variable data is securely transmitted to the appropriate department and subsequently forwarded to Krungthai Bank, the designated financial institution responsible for managing the government procurement system.
The operational protocols have been modified to improve efficiency. One of the adjustments made is the reduction of the auction duration from eight hours to a more concise three-hour window, specifically from 9 am to 12 pm. The designated time period facilitates ample involvement from the private sector. Significantly, this efficient procedure offers bidders a sense of confidence in the confidentiality of their price proposals during the negotiation phase, safeguarded by the unchangeable nature of blockchain technology.
The auction prospectus has been made readily accessible for download by the CGD, ensuring equitable access for all interested parties and fostering impartiality in the procurement procedure.
Upon analyzing the fiscal trends observed in 2022, it is evident that government agencies have successfully acquired an impressive number of 5.36 million projects, amounting to a substantial total value of 1.43 trillion baht (equivalent to US$41 billion). Out of the various projects, the winning bids amounted to a substantial sum of 1.20 trillion baht (equivalent to US$34 billion). This successful outcome led to a commendable budget saving of 36.5 billion baht (equivalent to US$1 billion), representing a significant 3.04% of the total bidding budget.
The winning bids were categorized according to the strategies employed. Specifically, 42% of the bids utilized the e-bidding method, 38.4% submitted price proposals through a designated method, 17.9% followed the selection method, and 1.50% opted for alternative approaches.
The list of government agencies with the highest procurement value comprises the Royal Irrigation Department, the Department of Highways, the Department of Rural Roads, the Provincial Electricity Authority, the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, the Department of Corrections, the Royal Thai Army, the Royal Thai Police, and the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority.
As of April in the financial year 2023, government agencies have successfully acquired a total of 2.69 million projects, with a cumulative value amounting to 889 billion baht. Out of the various projects, successful bids totaled 430 billion baht (equivalent to US$12 billion), leading to a notable cost reduction of 26.5 billion baht. This represents a significant budget saving of approximately 5.82% in relation to the initial bidding budget. The allocation of the total auction value reveals that a significant portion, precisely 45.7%, was attributed to specific methods. Subsequently, the e-bidding method accounted for 42% of the total value.