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Tuesday, Jan 19, 2021

German Lawmakers defend corruption and Vote against Blockchain for Transparency on Megaprojects

German Lawmakers defend corruption and Vote against 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 that Germany should fight against its corruption culture.
* 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.

* “Citizens’ trust in the control abilities and competence of government contractors suffered enormously because of 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 the parliament reject FDP’s blockchain proposal outright. It died the next day on the Bundestag floor.
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