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Friday, January 10, 2014

Obamacare Site Builders To Be Fired

Posted by on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 12:44 PM

From the Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, here's a piece of news that comes way too late to placate the haters:

The Obama administration has decided to jettison CGI Federal, the main IT contractor that was responsible for building the defect-ridden online health insurance marketplace and has been immersed in the work of repairing it.

Federal health officials are preparing to sign a 12-month contract worth roughly $90 million, probably early next week, with a different company, Accenture, after concluding that CGI has not been effective enough in fixing the intricate computer system underpinning the federal Web site,

Republicans have made a big deal of saying that nobody's been fired for the Obamacare site snafus of last year, but it's not that easy to end a relationship with a contractor. These things take time. And if Accenture manages to make the Obamacare site run efficiently, nobody will remember this issue by the time the midterm elections roll around this November.


Comments (31) RSS

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dnt trust me 1
I've seen enough evidence on Slog that people don't remember what happened last week, let alone one year ago.
Posted by dnt trust me on January 10, 2014 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 2
But I thought the free market was the solution to all of life's problems?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM · Report this
mkyorai 3
Glad I'm not the COR on that one...
Posted by mkyorai on January 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 4
WOW $90million for 12 months work. Nice work if you can get it.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 10, 2014 at 1:05 PM · Report this
@1, and then there's people like you, who don't know where they are right now.
Posted by GermanSausage on January 10, 2014 at 1:11 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 6
Thanks, that's good news. I've found that being lost is better when with a buddy or two.
Posted by dnt trust me on January 10, 2014 at 1:20 PM · Report this
rob! 7
Most large IT contractors do crap work; Accenture's site for California won't be finding its way into many textbooks as a shining exemplar either.

The asses that still need kicking are those in the White House (including Obama) who ignored David Cutler's May 2010 memo to Larry Summers that they were all on the path to failure. More:………
Posted by rob! on January 10, 2014 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Apocynum 8
Q: How do we get from zero to a functional website that we want the vast majority of Americans to use?

A) Hire a consulting firm to solicit bids from tech companies with extensive experience building this kind of thing.

B) Hire a firm with good political connections, but zero experience building or deploying large websites, to say nothing of national websites.

Not sure what they expected.
Posted by Apocynum on January 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 9
@6 you're really getting tired of being the pest. You used to post your bullshit in nearly every thread, now you can barely be arsed to post more than about three times a day.

Knew you couldn't keep it up.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on January 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM · Report this
fletc3her 10
Now when will they fire the people running Washington's site?
Posted by fletc3her on January 10, 2014 at 1:34 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 11
New Years Resolution
Posted by dnt trust me on January 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM · Report this
rejemy 12
Hey I know, let's bring in new people who will have to spend the first 12 months just figuring out how this massive thing works at all, let alone be able to do anything productive with the site.
Posted by rejemy on January 10, 2014 at 1:39 PM · Report this
My guess is that the original site builders had strong republican ties and were perhaps helped financially to sabotage it. Or am just being another paranoid liberal asshole?
Posted by longwayhome on January 10, 2014 at 2:00 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 14
Aw but they were doing a heck of a job.
Posted by MacCrocodile on January 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 15
@12: normally I'd agree, but in this case they're pretty much going to have to burn what they have to the ground and start over no matter what. It is hard to explain just how badly CGI screwed the pooch on this one: if it comes out in 15 years that the RNC bribed them to tank the project deliberately it honestly would not surprise me.

(There is currently a "strike team" of senior engineers from google and facebook on-site in DC trying to stabilize the site. They're all my ex-coworkers and their stories are hair-raising.)
Posted by Doctor Memory on January 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM · Report this
Dr. Z 16
Turns out the Feds built a spare website called "EZ App" in parallel with EZ App was apparently intended for internal use by the call center for the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM). EZ App was originally targeted to go live on December 2, now I'm hearing it will be made available to some insurers by Jan 25, with general availability by mid-February. It's not clear when - or if - it will be used for online web apps by the public.

CGI Federal got the business for because the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services didn't have time to go thru the regular procurement process. They had an existing contract with CGI, so they just used that.
Posted by Dr. Z on January 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Knat 17
The GOP will do their best to use this as yet another example of how government is always the problem (settings aside all facts that are contrary to their point in this case). They are after all the party that believes the Internet is a series of tubes.
Posted by Knat on January 10, 2014 at 3:12 PM · Report this
rob! 18
They're all my ex-coworkers and their stories are hair-raising.
Spill, DM. Your secrets are safe with us. XD
Posted by rob! on January 10, 2014 at 3:13 PM · Report this

Yes. But to be fair paranoid, liberal and asshole all sort of mean the same thing.
Posted by Seattleblues on January 10, 2014 at 3:18 PM · Report this
raindrop 20
There are issues swirling around that could usher in Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader next year besides Obamacare.
Posted by raindrop on January 10, 2014 at 3:19 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 21
@ 19, you got one word wrong in your little one-sentence tantrum.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 10, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 22
@21: There are two sentences in @19. Did you mean to refer to another comment?
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on January 10, 2014 at 4:14 PM · Report this
Steven Bradford 23
I hope WA can find someone to fix the login process on the state's site. I have to get a new password every time I try to sign on.
Posted by Steven Bradford on January 10, 2014 at 5:02 PM · Report this
@19 Maybe it's Fri. night and you have had your cocktail, but I guess your post went way over my head! You have dialed into the wrong news site to spout your conservative vomit.
Posted by longwayhome on January 10, 2014 at 8:22 PM · Report this
Knat 25
@22: So, Will in Seattle is the resident idiot, sgt_doom is the crackpot, and you're angling for pedant, I take it?
Posted by Knat on January 10, 2014 at 11:21 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 26
@ 22, only one if them is in tantrum form, dear.
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 11, 2014 at 3:46 AM · Report this
venomlash 27
@25: Not if I have anything to say about it! GRRR.
Posted by venomlash on January 11, 2014 at 8:05 AM · Report this
The purpose of the Affordable Health Care act was to provide just what it says. The delivery of said program was not a success, and the republicans who have made a monumental case against it are going to base their 2014 and 2016 campaigns against it and try and use this against their Democratic opponents. By election time, Obamacare will be in full swing and running smoothly and the moronc right wing Obama haters will be at a loss to find more fault with him. republicans lose again.
Posted by longwayhome on January 11, 2014 at 8:01 PM · Report this
Well, if nothing else, perhaps this could lead to better understanding of software requirements by the people ordering it. To not have had QC testing on the product for a scale greater than forseable use is pitiful, at best.

Posted by Married in MA on January 13, 2014 at 9:52 AM · Report this
Doctor Memory 30
@18: we're all waiting to find out what they are and aren't allowed to say in public. Our hope is that a few of them will get to write a long public post-mortem on the thing, and I will absolutely spread it far and wide if they do.
Posted by Doctor Memory on January 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM · Report this
rob! 31
Thanks for getting back!
Posted by rob! on January 17, 2014 at 3:55 AM · Report this

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