New Zealand is considering using the new technology of smart contracts to help the country’s public servants, as part of a series of changes it is expected to announce on Thursday.
The New Zealand Public Service Commission (NZPSC) has announced plans to launch a digital payment platform for the public service, with the Government’s new Digital Transformation Strategy outlining the aims to make New Zealanders more “connected, productive and accountable”.
It is believed to be the first time New Zealand has been using the technology to address issues around transparency, accountability and fairness, with a focus on digital payment services, including payments for work done, as well as public servants.
The NZPSC has launched an online portal for people to get more information on its proposals, including information on how to apply and the costs of the platform, which it hopes will be rolled out to all public servants in the next 18 months.
“There are a number of key stakeholders that have expressed an interest in this and it’s important that they are listened to and that we get this right,” said NZPSU executive director Helen Williams.
NZPSU chairperson David Cunliffe said the agency would work with government agencies, unions and others to understand the benefits of the new system.
“This will be a big step forward in the country,” he said.
“It will enable us to have a better understanding of what is happening in public services in this country.”NZPS is the government agency that oversees the NZPS digital payment system.
The Government has been experimenting with a system known as “smart contracts”, which allow users to buy or sell goods and services online.
In this scenario, a contract between the two parties is negotiated, with each party agreeing to pay the other a set fee or service.
Under the system, payments are made through an electronic “smart contract” between the buyer and seller, rather than via a cash transfer or payment card.
The system allows users to pay online for goods and other services, and to have their payments made through a phone call, or even a text message.NZPS said the platform would allow public servants to use smart contracts more easily, without having to worry about the hassle of using cash.
“The use of smart contract technology allows the New Zealand public service to deliver a simpler, more streamlined digital system to allow public service agencies to use their services more efficiently and effectively,” the agency said in a statement.
Auckland City Council, which is part of the Government, is expected later this week to announce its own rollout of smart-contract technology.
The agency is expected, however, to set out more details of its proposed new platform, including when it will be in use and how much it will cost.