Economist and lecturer at the University of the West Indies Dr Andre Haughton is calling on the government to use smart contracts for the projects that will be implemented during this fiscal year to cut down on corruption.
According to Haughton, while the money the government has budgeted to spend on benevolence for the poor, lower class and the 130,000 people who lost jobs in the past year, is small, using contracts would place funds in the government coffers to assist these individuals.
“In the COVID crisis, we have to be building out key infrastructure – hardware and software infrastructure – and will have to use blockchain technology in smart contracts,” Haughton said.
“What has been happening is that many times when we earmark money to be spent, because of human nature, the monies that we spend for contracts, normally don’t pan out into full fledge economic activities because of skimping.
“So the idea here is that we want less skimping. We want the contracts to be fluent, so I would like the government make an effort to make the contracts that they are granting smart contracts so that it is built on blockchain technology to minimise the incidences of corruption,” Haughton said.
He argued that peer-to-peer and smart contracts will increase the level of checks and balances when the government is spending monies for infrastructure development, which is what, should be happening, with the world moving things online.
According to Haughton, with Jamaica having a large informal economy and a majority of the population being affected by the downturn of the Jamaican economy, the money saved by the government from smart contracts can be spent on assisting these individuals.