Navy, HHS Advance Agile Acquisition Culture; James Geurts, Oki Mek Quoted

James Geurts

The U.S. Navy and the Department of Health and Human Services are adopting an agile approach to accelerate the procurement process and stay ahead of technology trends, Federal News Network reported Monday. James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said the service is asking private sector talent to work in the government for a few years as part of its agile acquisition efforts.

“So then, how do we create a much more fluid talent mechanism, where it’s OK for you to come into government for two years and learn, and then bounce back out, or vice versa, where we can create programs to leverage each other and break down some of the barriers,” Geurts noted. He said the service also launched a platform, NavalX, to connect innovators with Navy operations.

Oki Mek, chief technology officer at HHS, said the department is advancing agile acquisition through its blockchain platform HHS Accelerate designed to identify the lowest prices on commonly procured items by looking through acquisition data.

“That’s what we’re trying to do in terms of acquisition — really focusing on the TurboTax model, digitizing the data, building a good data taxonomy, analyzing the data, then sharing the data,” Mek said.

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