How Blockchain is Transforming Federal Grants Management for HHS

“Blockchain is rising as a nascent technology that enables reliable information exchange throughout networks, and federal agencies are starting to embrace the emerging technology to drive efficiencies — including in grants management work.

Many agencies have been encountering challenges in building transparency in their grants management systems and struggling to reduce burdens around reporting. Federal IT and financial specialists have been trying to apply emerging technologies to these systems to relieve these pain points, especially as many of these agencies face congressional mandates to grow their budgets and portfolios…”

HHS is known for being the first agency to authorize a blockchain-based program, known as Accelerate, and now leaders are looking to apply the technology elsewhere. HHS Financial Management Portfolio Director and Acting CFO Michael Peckham has been working on a pilot program backed by blockchain, called the Grant-recipient Digital Dossier (GDD), to automate gathering and analysis of risk-related information for grant recipients and present that information in a standardized and transparent manner.

GDD was built on open-source code through Agile methodology, Peckham said, adding that it consists of a variety of microservices — not just blockchain, but also artificial intelligence, natural-language processing and robotic process automation — to synthesize grant recipient information from across various sources and present a holistic view of both realized and potential risk.

‘You have a transparent, immutable transaction — that is the beauty of blockchain or distributed ledger technology,’ Peckham said during a virtual event last week. ‘If any auditor comes after the fact and says,”What did this recipient look like at the point in time where you were considering them while they were an applicant,” you can point to transactions on the blockchain to say, “Here’s exactly what they look like”’…” Read the full article here.

Source: How Blockchain is Transforming Federal Grants Management – By Melissa Harris, July 27, 2021. GovernmentCIO.

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