Potential of blockchain in government acquisition

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Jose Arrieta, associate deputy assistant secretary for Acquisition at the Department of Health and Human Services, discusses how blockchain can be used to streamline the acquisition process.


Blockchain has been increasingly growing in popularity over the past several years. The distributed ledger system has applications in banking and identification, but agencies across the government are researching their own use cases for the technology. According to Jose Arrieta, associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisition at the Department of Health and Human Services, blockchain has great potential for use in government acquisition.

“Think about an industry partner… logging into 22 systems to provide their information to an agency to do contracting work with them. If you can layer all of those systems with a blockchain, suck up all the data and recreate the user interfaces, you now have a record of that entity’s identity on one data layer for all of their interactions with you. When you have an immutable record with providence of data, you can run machine learning off of that data…” Arrieta told Government Matters at the ACT-IAC Acquisition Excellence 2018 event. “Now that you have accurate data that you have collected from multiple old systems and through new UI’s… you can run machine learning with a level of accuracy that you couldn’t before. It speeds up the acquisition process and it gives you insights into the interactions with that industry partner like you’ve never had before”