Public Procurement, Corruption and Blockchain Technology in South Africa: A Preliminary Legal Inquiry

I don’t have a strong opinion on this implementation, but what’s the motivation behind using blockchain to vote? (It should bring something more, since it’s harder to maintain)
And since there is a centralized government already, why do we want zk?

Correct me if I’m wrong about cost of maintenance though. I have an idea on how to deploy dapps, and although they are obviously much harder to build than no-code, it could still be easier to maintain…(?)

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Hi @tebogonong ! Thank you so much for contributing. This has been a fascinating read.

I noticed that in the research paper itself there are mentions of technical/operational issues such as a 700 word count being a cap for current smart contracts that could limit the effectiveness of blockchain in public procurement scenarios.

  • Have any advancements on issues such as this one been made in the 2 years since the paper was published?

On another note, I see that the limitations of PAJA is used within the case study as a reason as to why it may be difficult to integrate blockchain tech and subsequent processes into the public procurement space. It is also mentioned that it may be necessary to have regulatory overhaul for blockchain tech to be viable within the system.

  • What is your current stance on whether blockchain constitutionally functions within the public/private partnership space?

Without a doubt, blockchain can play a huge role in making public procurement processes transparent, effective and eliminate any form of bribery or lobbying to be awarded public procurement contracts.Corruption in public procurement has been a persistent menace battling several governmental agencies and has put in question the capability of the project bidders to provide deliverables matching the required standard. Many projects end up being abandoned or sub-standard due to the tainted selection process and public funds being wasted.

Deployment of central public procurement platforms on the blockchain can ensure compliance with selection guideline, ratings and save the government lots of public funds being lost in the strife to bribe the intermediary agents, to influence the final award outcomes. Upon award of the project, funds could also be locked in smart contracts to be released in stages of the project development to ensure the deliverables are in tandem with the specifications and set standards.

Reduced human intervention in public procurement stages; from bidding, award of the contract, deliverable and rating will drive project contractors to bid competitively and act in the best interest of the state by delivering the best standard. However, the awarded project contractors will still need supervision to ensure they have delivered an acceptable standard and approval for release from any further obligations or final payment. This decision will be at the whim of the project supervisor appointed by the government. Overall, several risks will be eliminated in the deployment of public procurement blockchain platform by governments.

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The government using Blockchain technology for disbursement of funds is a solution they might not want to take, most articles I have read about governance and their reaction with the blockchain technology is not really good most are threatened by the blockchain technology and what it means for the concept of government.

Articles like this prove my point:

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