The US government’s main logistical agency is looking at blockchain as a way to re-envision its contract review process.
According to a request for quotation published on 19th June, the General Services Administration is looking for a contractor to help it assess how blockchain could be integrated into FAStlane, a system launched last year as part of a broader effort to streamline how smaller companies, especially IT firms, bid on government contracts. A request for quotation is a kind of solicitation for vendors, specifically for the estimated cost of delivering on a contract.
The agency said on its website:
“The purpose of this RFQ is to obtain contractor support to develop a proof of concept for DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology), automated machine learning technology, and/or artificial intelligence based exchange implementation into GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) FAStlane new offer proposal review processes.”
According to supplemental documentation, the GSA would want any blockchain-related implementation “be cryptocurrency agnostic and not monetize mining” as well as be capable of supporting smart contracts.
Further, the system should constitute “a permissioned ledger that uses multiple cloud platforms for redundancy and high-availability and key management”.
The request closely follows statements from a GSA official who told a Washington, DC radio station that the agency is looking into how the technology can enhance the way it provides support to federal agencies.
The new release notably offers insight into at least one of the specific ways in which the agency might apply blockchain – in this case, the process by vendors can gain access to federal contracts. And although it’s a proof-of-concept pitch that might never see the light of day, the request highlights an early use case that is specific to the public sector.
The GSA said that its request is open to bids until 10th July.