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Colombia has a definitive guide to transform its public sector with blockchain projects

The Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of Colombia (MinTIC) published, on Thursday, February 19, the Reference Guide for the adoption and implementation of blockchain projects in public entities of the State.

The new document includes changes compared to the draft version, after the agency asked citizens to send their comments and observations. This with the idea of ​​ensuring their participation in the construction of the instrument that is part of the government’s strategy to promote innovation and the digital transformation process of public institutions.

On its official site, the MinTIC indicates that the guide presents the guidelines that public entities must take into account for the development of projects based on blockchain. In that sense, it contains technical recommendations on how they should be designed and what is required to operate them to improve the effectiveness of public management, and make the services that citizens receive more transparent and reliable.

The great challenge facing the Colombian public sector is that citizens do not trust the institutions of the State. “This level of mistrust is below 5% in our country,” said Mauricio Tovar, Colombia’s representative to the Ibero-American Blockchain Alliance, recently.

To face the crisis of mistrust that exists in the country, the Colombian government is turning to the implementation of projects based on blockchains. “By virtue of the fact that the blockchain allows data to be recorded and published without the need for intermediaries to centralize the information, citizens feel confident in the transparency of these processes,” says the statement from the MinTIC.

He adds that there are already several pilot projects that demonstrate the effectiveness of blockchains to control procedures and curb corruption. Such is the case of the School Feeding Program implemented since 2019 and with which the State has been able to identify some type of manipulation of the processes related to the assignment of contracts.

The blockchain project guide raises the possibility of implementing projects for the health sector, digital identity or voting records, among others. Source: cottonbro / pexels.com

Blockchain, a useful technology for everything?

The Reference Guide for the adoption of blockchain projects in the Colombian public sector, now introduce a questionnaire that public servants must answer with the idea of ​​determining whether or not a certain project requires a blockchain-based implementation. This is one of the most important changes introduced by the instrument.

In fact, it was one of the observations that Mauricio Tovar made in August last year when the guide was presented in draft. “The first thing to do is define the problem to be solved and not the technology to be used”, said, at that time, the representative of the Iberoamerican Blockchain Alliance.

Among the recommendations contained in the guide for institutions that decide to implement projects based on blockchain, it proposes “preferentially, choose open source technologies, that allow the public entity to quickly scale the solution, in a cost-efficient way, in such a way as to avoid closed solutions or lock-in «.

It also throws up some caveats, such as the need to offer protection of users’ rights, especially that of your personal data. On this, he points out: “the properties of blockchain as a fundamental technology make these considerations particularly important, given the potential damage and subsequent effects that they can prevent in the verification of possible risks in the implementation of the project.”

Equally warns about the risk that is run when objectives are not achieved that the project arises as a solution to a certain problem. In this sense, some existing gaps can be widened.

It is possible that the use of technologies can widen existing gaps, for example, despite the potential of financial inclusion being talked about, if not carefully designed, blockchain can lead to further exclusion and exploitation of vulnerable populations.

Reference Guide for the adoption of blockchain projects in the Colombian State.

As CriptoNoticias reported in January this year, Colombia also intends to create a digital ecosystem based on information technologies and blockchain to modernize the platform on which land transportation operates. The plan pursues the simplification of administrative procedures, the digitization of the sector and electronic administration.