The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been working on a new contract writing system called HHS Accelerate. The system uses blockchain technology and artificial intelligence to create more transparency in the contract writing process. The use of blockchain technology ensures real time pricing transparency, and transparency for contracting officers into HHS’s acquisition process. The program is headed by Jose Arrietta. Arrietta is currently the company’s CIO, a recent switch from his former position as associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisition.

Arrieta and his team have been testing HHS Accelerate since the summer of 2018. HHS Accelerate was created to solve problems HHS has had in the past with accessing real-time data. Arrieta has revealed that it had previously taken months to analyze pricing data. With the creation of HHS Accelerate, HHS will be able to analyze pricing data in seconds rather than months. The pricing data from different departments within the agency will now be compiled into one system. HHS Accelerate has taken influence from one of HHS’s other programs, HHS Buy Smarter. Buy Smarter uses A.I. technology to identify opportunities that comply with requirements within HHS departments. The data from HHS Buy Smarter has been used for analyzation services within HHS Accelerate.

Arrieta believes HHS Accelerate will not only help HHS make better decisions about pricing on contracts but also shorten the acquisition cycle. Arrieta hopes the technology will facilitate the data analyzation process for  HHS employees. The technology is expected to be operational by Thanksgiving. HHS expects that with the pilot release they will be able to take feedback and better incorporate it into the program, thereby creating a program that can be used by HHS employees and contracting officers alike.

Author: Alison Cottingham

Blog Sources

https://federalnewsnetwork.com/blockchain/2018/09/hhs-turns-to-blockchain-for-novel-acquisition-model/

https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/hhs-moves-ahead-blockchain-acquisition-modernization

https://federalnewsnetwork.com/ask-the-cio/2019/07/hhs-new-contract-writing-system-testing-more-than-an-innovative-technology-approach/

https://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2018/07/26/hhs-blockchain.aspx

https://www.fedscoop.com/jose-arrieta-new-hhs-cio/

https://www.hhs.gov/grants/contracts/buysmarter/index.html