VA considering blockchain to help track contract closeouts

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is taking a look at how blockchain can bring more efficiency to its acquisition process — particularly how it finalizes completed contracts.

The agency issued a request for information seeking industry input on how blockchain solutions can be used in “routine government contract procedures, and in particular, contract closeouts.”

Blockchain has been a hot topic in federal circles of late with a litany of agencies examining how to leverage the distributed ledger technology to verify their operations.

The VA’s RFI seeks industry solutions that can help integrate the various sources of information needed to verify a contract has been completed and is free of outstanding claims and disputes.

“Because considerable resources are invested into this repetitive process, blockchain technology has been identified as a possible means to alleviate almost all the labor involved in government contract close-out procedures,” the RFI’s performance work statement said.

Contractors should be able to provide a proof of concept that can show whether blockchain can handle current closeout procedures, including possibly retroactively applying them to all pending contract closeouts.

VA officials envision a future contract with a six-month base period to demonstrate the effectiveness of the blockchain technology, with a potential follow-on contract if the contractor can present a viable solution.

Interested stakeholders have until July 31 to respond to the RFI.

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blockchain, Department of Veterans Affairs, RFI