President Trump’s recent commitment to blockchain and its ability to bring transparency is a vital toward data accountability. It’s part of a larger plan, which includes streamlining bureaucracy and improving responsiveness to citizens through technology.
What you may not know is that the move toward data transparency, which now includes adopting blockchain, is not new. Before blockchain, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014, or DATA Act, was the nation’s first open data law to go into effect. It requires the U.S. federal government to transform its spending information into open data.
President Barack Obama signed the DATA Act (Public Law No. 113-101 (official text) into law on May 9, 2014.
Recent Steps Toward Transparency
Margie Graves, acting federal chief information officer at the US Office of Management and Budget, reaffirmed the White House commitment to adopt blockchain technology as an important part of its 2017 operational policies and strategies.
Graves spoke at the Fifth Annual Data Transparency 2017 conference held in Washington, D.C. last Tuesday.
"With artificial intelligence and blockchain, the [White House] is exploring a whole range of forward-leaning capabilities that might be helpful to the government." One highly-prized aspect of the blockchain is the ledger which gives visibility to transactions.
The distributed ledger technology (DLT) will allow the Federal Government greater effectiveness in monitoring and thereby reducing incidences of:
Blockchain will also bolster the cyber defenses of the country. That’s because of its encrypted, time-stamped technology, which saves a record of everything that takes place over the entire ledger every 10 minutes across millions of computers simultaneously. That time-stamped record is called a block. Because so many copies are saved any tampering is immediately visible.
Graves expects to meet with blockchain advocate Don Tapscott this month to discuss the most effective applications within the government.
Further Uses of Blockchain within the Government
Other agencies that will soon to be tapping into blockchain are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA).