The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hopes to test Accelerate – the first block-chain based program in the Federal government to get an authority-to-operate – in the coming fall and rollout the portal fully in the beginning of 2020.

Speaking at the Nextgov Emerging Tech Summit on Aug. 14, HHS CIO Jose Arrieta mentioned that HHS had begun developing microservices for its blockchain portal and that contracting officials will be empowered by more pricing breaks. He used price-matching at large retailers as an example of being able to see comparable discounts.

“If you look up the price of something on Amazon and show it to the cashier at Target or Best Buy,” Arietta said, they’ll give you a discount to match the price you’re showing them and that’s the capability HHS wants to give to contracting professionals. Arrieta offered that the agency wanted to focus more on direct engagement with industry partners when it comes to emerging technology.

Arrieta also said that he sees blockchain as a part of the “tech-stack” and plays a major role in developing IT systems. For other agencies, he suggested that improvements to the blockchain process need to start somewhere and that agencies need to start taking those first steps.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.