Blockchain: Modernization tool for public services

The major asset of blockchain technology relies in its ability to improve coordination between existing IT systems. That turns out to be especially interesting for administrations and the public sector to make operations more efficient and transparent. Explanations with Frederik De Breuck, Head of Fujitsu Entreprise Blockchain.

The challenge of contemporary citizenship

One of the biggest challenge the administrations and public services must face lies in the fact that citizens are more and more demanding regarding transparency, equity, efficiency, and responsibility of public entities. Yet, in the digital era, the lack of coordination between IT systems of different entities can represent discrepancies, impeding the citizens’ satisfaction on these key topics.

Unhopefully, the traditional tools of data management do not always answer sufficiently to challenges governments must meet. In addition, centralized IT systems represent an increased risk in data security.

For most governments, numerous administrative operations are still fragmented. Each one has its own process, often requiring an additional human intervention, generating longer deadlines of which the citizen is not satisfied anymore (for instance, for property title registration).

Relying on a new IT architecture using blockchain, governments and public entities can improve their internal processes offering citizens more efficient services corresponding to their increasing requirements without compromising the data security.

Apart from the direct benefits brought by the adoption of blockchain technology, the initiative also positions the public sector as an innovation driving force for the country, encourage more the population to use digital tools.

Concrete use cases

For governments and public entities from diverse sectors, there is numerous use cases for blockchain technology. Here are some examples.

First of all, let us talk about digital identity. People recognition is essential for governmental services, but existing data management tool cannot provide a secure identity system quickly accessible and easily updatable. The blockchain offers to citizens the possibility of a sovereign digital identity. This enables a better control on personal data while guaranteeing to administrations their perfect truthfulness. For instance, by scanning an ID card in an administration, citizens could confirm their identity, without revealing further information to the public agent. Specific contexts suit particularly the technology: university title checking, fiscal administration interactions, electronic health file treatment or even retirement or public services management.

Moreover, governments guarantee the registering of sensitive data: property titles, marriages and divorces, birth and death certificates, criminal records. The management of these registers can turn out to be complex because of the fragmentation between administrations and the efficiency of current IT systems. Blockchain enables secure and in real time updates enabling in fine to reduce the data checking process, taking sometimes weeks to a few minutes (property titles registration for example).

Furthermore, checking the law implementation is as costly for public authorities as law compliance for companies. A key aspect of the issue relies in existing tools’ incompatibility with data management for the audit of activities under regulation (food security, spare parts follow-up in industries, audit processes in pharmaceutical industry, guarantee of Protected Designation of Origin…).

Other uses can also occur whenever there is a need to check, recut or harmonize information between different administrations.

EBSI, a European initiative

At a European level, the EBSI initative came out in 2020. Initiated by the European Commission, EBSI aims at using blockchain for boosting the creation of cross-borders services for public administrations and their ecosystems, to check information and make affected public services more trustworthy and faster. The use cases of EBSI are mostly focusing on cross-borders operations between member countries of the EU with the verification of diplomas, social security or even the follow-up of different administrative documents.

From the idea to the implementation

The implementation of IT solutions based on Blockchain requires multiple skills, including business knowledge as well as technological expertise. This multidisciplinary approach is key for the conception of the most relevant solutions to meet the new challenges the administrations must face.

To create these solutions, Fujitsu makes use of co-creation gathering its technological expertise as well as its business knowledge on administration. Thanks to its experience, Fujitsu identifies pain points in the existing processes. Based on these elements, technological and organizational changes are suggested to mitigate identified weaknesses and increase in fine the efficiency of the services and the citizens’ satisfaction towards institutions.

Find the original article in French in LG here.