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HHS is moving forward on Blockchain for the modernization of the acquisition

At the Department of Health and Human Services, it's time to talk blockchain it's over. Now it's time to look at what technology can do.

Last month, HHS received the authorization to operate and extract data in real time for a new tool called HHS Acceleration, which uses blockchain and artificial intelligence to improve the supply. The objective of the tool, which the agency has tested since last summer, is to offer HHS contract agents greater visibility on the agency's acquisition function. That visibility will allow them to do it reduce the life cycle of the acquisition, as well as promote better decision-making on contracts, saving time and money, say agency officials.

Jose Arrieta, deputy assistant secretary for acquisition at HHS, told Federal News Network last month that HHS Accelerate extracts current data from five contract writing systems and approximately 100,000 contracts representing nearly $ 25 billion of annual expenditure. The data will be updated every 24 hours, says Arrieta.

"We believe there are significant savings and significant price negotiating power that will come with full visibility of the prices paid," he told the Federal News Network.

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HHS wants to accelerate the acquisition with Blockchain

In a separate interview with the Government Matters program, Arrieta noted that HHS "always had problems with access to data, access to data in real time or we were forced to participate in one specific company process ", reports MeriTalk.

With HHS Accelerate, the agency created a standardized set of data, he says, "and we have decentralized the execution of this data, leveraging a microservice strategy, to actually enhance the acquisition workforce."

Until now, if agencies wanted to make purchases of strategic origin, it may take months to gather all the data and analyze it before making a decision, according to Arrieta.

"Now we have the ability to do this analysis in a second and provide the information to the administrator in the negotiation or acquisition planning phase", Said Arrieta." It is extremely powerful. It's like going to Target; let's say you're buying an iPhone: look for the price on Amazon and find it costs less than $ 30. Show it to the Target cashier and give you a discount. This is the strengthening of the labor force of the acquisition and the empowerment of the contracted professional. "

Arrieta previously explained that the tool uses the distributed blockchain register technology as a level of infrastructure. HHS therefore uses a microservice strategy in addition to this level of infrastructure use the automation of the robotic process and machine learning to automate the process and create deeper analytical insights.

"Machine learning actually cleans up data as it comes from our legacy systems – Blockchain becomes the benchmark and the taxonomy holder," Arrieta tells Federal News Network.

Now that HHS can use live agency data and not static data, the tool will probably be optimized. "Once we have worked smoothly, we must start sharing it with our workforce and get feedback from them on what is valuable and where we can provide better analysis and drill-down and focus," says Arietta.

In March, HHS hopes to be able to supply the instrument to its contracted workforce.

"This means extracting data from the writing systems, being able to analyze them and then pushing them to contract professionals and getting feedback from them on what information is useful, what information might be more useful, which ones are not useful and start to train Automatic learning this way, "says Arrieta.

According to the Federal News Network, next summer, before the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2019, HHS expects to do so decide if he will move away from one of his legacy systems, Information system of departmental contracts, to accelerate HHS.

"We think this will have no effect on the workforce," says Arrieta. "They will not even know that a change has occurred."

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