US government watchdog seeks blockchain experts

US government watchdog seeks blockchain experts

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) is seeking experts to work on blockchain-related initiatives.

According to the US government job portal, the GAO Innovation Lab has opened job vacancies for an interdisciplinary assistant director and an interdisciplinary computer scientist/engineer to explore emerging technologies including blockchain.

The GAO is the principal audit institution of the US government providing evaluation and investigative services for Congress. In its website, the GAO is described as a “congressional watchdog.”

US government watchdog seeks blockchain experts

Information about the position

The GAO vacancies are located in Washington, D.C., and will be supervised by GAO’s Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics Team’s Innovation Lab.

According to the job post, the roles also offer six-figure salaries and prospective candidates would “identify, develop, test, and evaluate use case prototypes” for technologies such as:

  • digital ledger (blockchain)
  • cloud-based ‘as-a-service’ capabilities (including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS)
  • Internet of Things
  • RPA and other machine learning systems
  • virtual/augmented realities, and 5G technologies

Other responsibilities involve facilitating change management across processes, methods, and team cultures to successfully integrate innovative emerging technologies.

The chosen candidate also needs to understand the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) and other relevant standards to work with GAO teams in helping them achieve desired results, the job post further said.

According to the GAO, with this move, it wants to create an improved approach that will change the business of audit, investigations, and program evaluation.

US sees future in blockchain

The U.S. government continues to show interest in the area of blockchain technology and the GAO is apparently following this step.

Last year, Taka Ariga,  GAO Innovation Lab’s director discussed how blockchain could help auditors who examine larger and more complicated sets of information. Ariga stated:

“In the user-centric environment of the Innovation Lab, by applying data science at scale and exploring emerging technologies such as machine learning and digital ledger, we will help the audit community address grand challenges.”

The official added that the use of blockchain technology could innovate the government and industry processes. However, Ariga clarified that some issues still need to be addressed regarding blockchain, such as fraud, money laundering, and high amounts of energy use.

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