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Oki Mek, chief technology officer at the HHS Acquisition Division, and Todd Simpson, chief product officer at HHS, discuss the new Accelerate procurement portal, and how the agency plans to use blockchain in future tech projects.

The Department of Health and Human Services will test its new blockchain-based procurement site. The Accelerate portal is the first blockchain project in government with an Authority to Operate, and there are more projects on the way. Oki Mek, chief technology officer at the HHS Acquisition Division, says that the blockchain programs at HHS are led by security efforts.


“The common thread among all these initiatives is cybersecurity… By putting logs, system logs, into the blockchain to create an ecosystem where logs are secured and are available when there’s an issue. When there’s a need to do root cause analysis,” Mek said. “That’s the initiative that I am leading right now, and I think it will revolutionize cybersecurity.”


Todd Simpson, chief product officer at HHS, told Government Matters that with the department’s data needs, implementing blockchain is a no-brainer.


“What blockchain gives accelerate is an immutable database, a system of record that we can trust. When we are dealing with information from potentially untrusted sources, it is very important.  This is where blockchain got its notoriety around cryptocurrency,” Simpson said. “This is a perfect use case of untrusted sources where we need to trust the data. This gives us an immutable source where we can base all of our core transactions from.”

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