Blockchain Tested in Mexico for Tracking Public Contract Bids
On Tuesday a government officially revealed that the government of Mexico has been quietly working on a project where blockchain must be used to track bids for public contracts.
In Jalisco at a tech conference, Yolanda Martinez, Mexico’s national digital strategy coordinator, detailed Blockchain HACKMX, a project she said has been in production since last September. A team of university graduates, whose design won a contest calling for blockchain solutions that can help improve public services, developed such system.
Martinez reported “With blockchain applied to public contracts we’ll be able to know whether a company that provides services to the government is trustworthy,”.
Mexican news outlet Debate says that, Martinez told viewers that such technology would eliminate the “easily corruptible” human element and clarify to the public tender process. Martinez also mentioned that records of the bidding process would be stored by the blockchain and that will allow to carry out audit for the fact.
Although there are not any available technical details about the project, Debate’s report suggests that the project will sooner or later be available for the public, with the government considering it as a solution for state and local governments in particular.
Blockchain HACKMX – a presentation which is available on the UN’s website and appears to date from July, weighs advantages and disadvantages of various platforms that could probably host the network: Hyperledger Fabric, bitcoin, ethereum, Chain and NEM. Blockchain HACKMX presentation suggests that computers used in the network will be managed by a number of government agencies, universities, civil society groups and private companies.
The issue regarding public contract corruption is a sensitive one in Mexico, in the recent high-profile scandal a large South American construction company has been involved in it and accusations that bribes were sent to Enrique Pena Nieto the President of the political campaign.
Transparency International, an anti-corruption non-governmental organization (NGO), rates the country 135th out of 180 in its Corruption Perceptions Index.