German Lawmakers Vote ‘Nein’ on Blockchain for Transparency on Megaprojects

Germany’s money-hemorrhaging effort to build a sleek new airport for Berlin might have convinced one political party that a blockchain for megaproject transparency was in order, but on Thursday the center-right Free Democrats (FDP) proved unable to persuade anyone else.

  • FDP’s call for a blockchain to hold “major state projects” accountable fell on deaf ears in the Bundestag after it failed to receive backing from even one other parliamentary group.

  • If passed, the proposal would have urged the German government to host big-euro projects on an open blockchain. Citizens could then view audit trails and provide feedback with ease, the bill read.

  • Such a tool could salvage the public’s confidence in the wake of the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) fiasco, FDP pointed out.

  • BER is set to open to the public in October 2020 – nine years behind schedule and at least four billion euros over budget. Its history of cost overages and design failures have turned the hulking transit hub into a case study of mismanagement.

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  • “Citizens’ trust in the control abilities and competence of government contractors suffered enormously these and other failures" FDP argued.
  • “The medium-term goal must be to make tax-financed large-scale projects more transparent for taxpayers,” they said.
  • FDP offered an accessible blockchain as the solution.
  • But the other members of Bundestag’s Building committee did not agree. On Wednesday, they recommended parliament reject FDP’s blockchain proposal outright. It died the next day on the Bundestag floor.

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