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The Implementation of Decentralised Ledger Technologies for Public Procurement

Blockchain-based Smart Public Contracts

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/epppl/2019/3/7

Sergi Nin Sánchez


In the context of the digital transformation of the European economy and society, new technologies have emerged bringing new opportunities for the benefit of citizens, public administrations and businesses. One of these is the Blockchain-based smart contracts rooted in what is known as Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs). This article aims to provide an overview of how DLTs could be successfully implemented in the governance of public procurement, as well as discussing some legal challenges that might appear. Taking into account the proof of concept of all the existing projects in this field, DLTs promise to provide procuring with a high level of transparency, integrity, autonomy, and overall speed-up procurement cycles. While the architecture of a Blockchain-based public procurement scheme is constrained by the immaturity of the technology, it is observed that the establishment of private ledgers (or public-permissioned ledgers) in tender procedures might be more suitable to public procurement. Although the process of implementation might be costly and less feasible in comparison with other fields in the public sector, initiatives focusing on this area should be endorsed. Ultimately, the successful implementation of DLTs in the governance of public procurement is inconceivable without a far-reaching professionalisation of procurement practitioners.
Keywords: Blockchain; Smart Public Contracts; Artificial Intelligence; Digital Governance; Distributed Ledger Technology; Digital Procurement.

Sergi Nin Sánchez, LLM, holds a Master’s in European Law from Maastricht University, The Netherlands. He previously graduated in Law and Public Management at the University of Barcelona (Spain) and worked in the field of Public Procurement. This article is based on his Master’s thesis supervised by Dr Sarah Schoenmaekers.

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