The IT company that brought us the disastrous ObamaCare website rollout is back with a hefty new federal contract—from the IRS.
The company is CGI Federal, which was fired for its botched ObamaCare rollout. No problem–seven months after the firing, according to a report in the Daily Caller, the Montreal-based company was awarded a $4.5 federal contract by the IRS.
The company, which made the ObamaCare website the laughingstock of the nation, will be handling…the ObamaCare tax program. Yes, that is a comforting thought.
A new government review has just come out and it faults the Administration for not having sufficiently vetted contractors hired to work on ObamaCare. But the IRS only had to look at the daily newspaper to see that this company had a disastrous record with ObamaCare.
There was plenty of blame to go around for the ObamaCare rollout fiasco. Investigations laid blame with the President, former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and others in the Obama Administration. But CGI received a lot of the blame, too—enough so that the IRS has some explaining to do (but don’t count on that!).
The government review of hiring for ObamaCare contractors shows an incredibly sloppy procedure. According to the inspector general for HHS, when awarding ObamaCare federal contracts, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) missed contracting requirements around oversight activities and opportunities to leverage all available acquisition planning tools and contracting approaches to identify and mitigate risks. Their approach to the entire project may have limited the number of acceptable proposals. In addition, CMS did not perform thorough reviews of contractor past performance when awarding two key contracts. As a result, they did not select the most qualified contractors.
Instead they hired the $10.5-billion-Montreal-based company CGI Federal and spent $2.1 billion in taxpayer dollars in creating what we have now.
The Washington Post reports:
The federal agency responsible for developing HealthCare.gov did not properly vet the contractors it hired to build the Web site and failed in many other aspects of planning it, according to a government review.
The findings confirm problems that The Washington Post first highlighted in a pair of articles more than a year ago. One of the reports showed that CGI Federal, a key contractor in the development of the site, had ties to failed projects, while an earlier story revealed that the company was filled with executives from a troubled IT firm.
The government spent about $800 million to build HealthCare.gov, which was plagued with problems and barely functioned during its botched launch in October 2013. CMS eventually fixed the glitches, but the remedies added millions to the cost of the project.
CMS and its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, agreed to all of the inspector general’s recommendations, which included calls for HHS to revise its acquisition guidance to ensure that contractors are adequately vetted and assess whether CMS should assign someone to coordinate complex IT projects in the future.
You would think that after all of this, our government would have learned a lesson. That would assume there are those with good judgment making procurement decisions.
If the hiring of the blemished CGI teaches us anything, it’s that Washington is Washington. Efficiency, performance, and results take a backseat to inefficiency, incompetence, and preferential treatment. We taxpayers lose out and the likes of CGI Federal continue to flourish at our expense.