Print 35 comment(s) - last by NicodemusMM.. on Jan 14 at 10:37 PM

CGI Federal's contract expires February 28, and will not be renewed

The U.S. government's former contractor responsible for got the boot after the website proved to be faulty several times after launch, and now a new contractor is stepping in to clean up the mess. 

According to a new report from Reuters, Accenture is the new contractor in charge of The one-year contract is worth $45 million USD for the project's initial phase, with a total value of $90 million by the time it expires.

"Accenture will bring deep healthcare industry insight as well as proven experience building large-scale, public-facing websites to continue improving," said David Moskovitz, chief executive of Accenture Federal Services.'s first contractor, CGI Federal -- which launched the site back in October -- has carried much of the blame for the health insurance website's troubles.

For weeks after the initial launch, the site experienced slow speeds and loading messages preventing users from shopping the health insurance marketplace.   

CGI Federal blamed another contractor's software and ultimately the federal government on October 23 for the website's terrible performance. 


CGI Federal's government contract for will expire February 28, 2014, and the contractor said it will not be renewed. 

Back in November, Republican investigators with the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation of the's troubles, and found emails from the project manager back in July 2013 that warned of potential issues that could arise. project manager Henry Chao sent an email out about the site's main contractor, CGI Federal, on July 16 saying that he "needs to feel more confident they are not going to crash the plane at take-off."

Staff shortages, problems with contractors and software issues were among the issues discussed prior to's launch. 

Microsoft even offered its help with's technical issues. The House Oversight Committee sent letters to others as well, such as Kayak and Verizon, looking for help.

President Barack Obama met with tech leaders in December to talk about's problems, and the government ended up pulling former Microsoft Office executive Kurt DelBene in to help out. 

Obama has called the website glitches "unacceptable." 

Source: Reuters

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By ipay on 1/13/2014 10:51:50 AM , Rating: 3
CGI Group is HQed in Canada. I always thought it seemed wrong to award domestic government (city, state, fed, etc) contracts with entities not domestic too.

RE: Canadian
By hughlle on 1/13/2014 11:01:09 AM , Rating: 2
You can keep your broken website if that makes you happier. One would hope that following the backlash, they would actually chose the best company for the job this time around, regardless of nationality. I agree with you, but i think given what has happened, they just can't afford the risk of choosing the next best alternative.

RE: Canadian
By ipay on 1/13/2014 11:10:01 AM , Rating: 3
You can keep your broken website if that makes you happier.
Uhhh... who's suggesting that?

Anyway... one of the real problems is the process involved in becoming a government contractor. Often the best and most nimble companies are not interested in or equipped to navigate the red tape, bureaucracy, or bribes, er... I mean lobbying required to get on the approved vendor lists. When your business is really getting contracts and not the services themselves, things are gonna sucks.

RE: Canadian
By MrBlastman on 1/13/2014 11:45:56 AM , Rating: 5
one of the real problems is...

... allowing any of this repugnant legislation to ever have been passed.

RE: Canadian
By Schrag4 on 1/13/2014 12:34:32 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe he meant:

"If you're happy with your current website, you can keep it!"

Sorry, couldn't resist.

RE: Canadian
By NicodemusMM on 1/14/2014 10:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
There's decent money in being a government contractor, but it's not worth the headache, imo. Take for example. When the client is the government and has the ability to change the requested product with four months to deadline, but also retains the ability to shift the blame far past said deadline, they are no longer the client... they're a businesses worst nightmare.

RE: Canadian
By NicodemusMM on 1/14/2014 10:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently you can't take the time to do a little research, so here's some enlightenment.

CGI Federal is a U.S. based organization. *gasp* Amazing how multinational companies do business isn't it?

If you can find any private sector organization as large as CGI that doesn't have subsidiaries doing work for governments that the parent company isn't headquartered in, then I'll STFU and move on. Good luck. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that the rules for working on such a project are more stringent than you realize... or at least took the time (seconds?) to think about.

By the way, if you think is the only U.S. government (city, state, fed, etc) project that CGI Federal is working on (and has been for even longer), then I have a bridge to sell you.

ipay... apparently not attention.

RE: Canadian
By BPB on 1/13/2014 3:19:07 PM , Rating: 4
Accenture is headquartered in Dublin! They are not American. I worked for a subsidiary of Accenture. When I started most of the HR paperwork assumed I was from India, and I lost 4 week's pay because I had to wait for I9 paperwork to be processed, which took them 4 weeks. My work was down the road at a local financial company. These guys hire Americans as a last resort, they make their money outsourcing and bringing in foreign labor.

RE: Canadian
By FITCamaro on 1/14/2014 7:49:24 AM , Rating: 2
Accenture has huge offices in the US. A friend of mine has worked for them for about 5 years or so. Do they have foreign labor? Yes. Do they have thousands of US employees who are citizens? Yes.

RE: Canadian
By BPB on 1/14/2014 9:54:00 AM , Rating: 3
The bottom line is they are replacing one foreign company with another.

And as for Accenture, they look for non-US workers first because it generally saves them money. If I blindfolded you, and then took you to the client that Accenture sent me to, and brought you into the cafeteria and removed the blindfold, you would have thought that I magically transported you to India. Most of the folks at this very large site were not from the US. Accenture is a proud outsoucer, they make lots and lots of money doing it. They care nothing about US workers, nothing. I worked for a subsidiary of theirs, but I worked primarilty with Accenture management. I became quite familiar with their business model.

Does Matter
By Arsynic on 1/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Does Matter
By ipay on 1/13/2014 11:47:56 AM , Rating: 5
at least Haliburton was a competent company

Hahaha! Competent as in does a good job? Or competent as in competently makes a few people rich while uses it's influence to skirt serious responsibilities when a bad job is done? Aside from anything else, perhaps you recall then Deepwater Horizon?

RE: Does Matter
By ClownPuncher on 1/13/2014 12:26:03 PM , Rating: 1
What does the Deepwater Horizon have to do with Halliburton? It was manufactured by South Korea, owned by the Swiss, and leased to the British.

RE: Does Matter
By datdamonfoo on 1/13/2014 12:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Does Matter
By ClownPuncher on 1/13/2014 2:16:25 PM , Rating: 1
Shady. Yet the accident and spill responsibility still lies firmly at the feet of BP.

RE: Does Matter
By Reclaimer77 on 1/13/2014 12:42:03 PM , Rating: 1
Do you know why Halliburton was really awarded so many contracts? Most of the time they were the only firm with the expertise and ability to do the job.

Does that sound incompetent to you?

RE: Does Matter
By ven1ger on 1/13/2014 3:31:08 PM , Rating: 2

Halliburton is listed as an oilfield services company. There is a list of about 40-50 (didn't bother to count) other oilfield services companies:

Seeing as that Halliburton was given the majority of the work if not all, because I don't think any of the jobs went out to bid, especially since Cheney was in Halliburton's pocket and he made sure that Halliburton got the prime contracts. How do you know that none of the other companies couldn't have done a better job?

"In the run-up to the Iraq war, Halliburton was awarded a $7 billion contract for which 'unusually' only Halliburton was allowed to bid.[44]"

RE: Does Matter
By Reclaimer77 on 1/13/2014 3:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
Ah yes the Cheeny/Bush Halliburton tin foil viewpoint.

Don't you guys get tired of being stupid and having all your opinions spoonfed to you?

Instead of wiki links, why don't you look up what actual investigators found who looked into the Halliburton/Bush connection?

And saying there were other service companies is like saying the mom and pop PC shop in your town can leverage as much logistics and expertise as IBM. They both work on computers right?

RE: Does Matter
By ven1ger on 1/13/2014 4:07:32 PM , Rating: 3
Please post the links to what you base your wisdom from. I did a google search and came up with those links. If you're unwilling to point me to the links then stop with your ad-hominem attacks.

RE: Does Matter
By FITCamaro on 1/14/2014 7:52:16 AM , Rating: 2
Because they were the only US contractor that had the experience and ability to do the work. There was a French based contractor who complained about not getting to bid. Did you want to give the work to them?

RE: Does Matter
By ven1ger on 1/14/2014 1:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have any sort of evidence that Halliburton were the only US contractor that had the experience and ability, otherwise I could easily say that there were many US companies that were capable of doing the job but were not even offered to bid on it. If only Halliburton was allowed to bid on the project, how do you know that only Halliburton had the expertise? Why even pretend to put it out to bid if only Halliburton was allowed to bid? Probably just for the pretense that procurement rules were being followed.

I thought the war in Iraq was a coalition led operation? So, tell me why again a French (ally) company isn't able to bid on a job that is supposed to be a coalition operation? Do you mean to tell me that only US companies were supposed to be able to do work for a coalition run operation?

RE: Does Matter
By Arsynic on 1/13/2014 3:34:49 PM , Rating: 1
Competent as in does a good job?

Competent as in actually knowing what they're doing in their business domain. The healthcare website, in contrast, has been a clusterfuck of ineptitude from the beginning.

Government is corrupt and will continue to be corrupt when it comes to contractors. But in Obama's case, he throws money at people who don't know what the fuck they're doing. See Solyndra as another example.

RE: Does Matter
By KCjoker on 1/13/2014 6:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
The jobs Haliburton performed look simply fantastic compared to these idiots paid millions to create a website. So as usual the republicans dealings are bad but democrats are insanely worse. While I'm not at all happy with republicans I'll continue choosing them sense their the lesser of two evils.

Stop the Contracts!
By Chadder007 on 1/13/2014 11:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
Stop it with the contract labor and go in house! The contract labor is eating up 10x the money that going in house would have cost.

RE: Stop the Contracts!
By Rukkian on 1/13/2014 3:17:24 PM , Rating: 1
Not with the way many government employees work, and with how much their benefits cost.

For most companies, outsourcing is much much more expensive, however there are reasons (from an accounting standpoint), or even on a more nimble staffing option to use outsourcing.

RE: Stop the Contracts!
By ven1ger on 1/13/2014 3:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
You've never worked in gov't have you. If it was done inhouse, it probably would never have seen the light of day or would have been more messed up that it was. Gov't IT are not the experts nor do they have the experience to do this level of work, unless as taxpayers, you want to pay the kind of salaries they would be asking for.

Contracted work doesn't have to be costly, it's just that gov't bureaucracy and inefficiency adds to the costs of any contracted work.

RE: Stop the Contracts!
By Spuke on 1/13/2014 4:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
Gov IT does not have the experience to perform this type of work. Contracting is really the only answer here.

RE: Stop the Contracts!
By troysavary on 1/13/2014 4:50:09 PM , Rating: 4
In the case of ObamaCare, never seeing the light of day would have been a significant improvement.

RE: Stop the Contracts!
By Chadder007 on 1/13/2014 4:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
Actually yes I have.
Have you read this story?

RE: Stop the Contracts!
By ven1ger on 1/13/2014 6:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I had read it when it first came out but gave it more of a cursory read. Contractors are a valuable assess to any kind of work that goes beyond your or your company's expertise. Government and any business have to rely on contractors to do work they don't have the expertise to handle the work, that's just normal business.

The problems that lead to the inefficiencies, such as costs and timeliness of projects are because all too many times the person that is managing the contract may not the requisite knowledge/experience on how to handle contracts.

A good contract will have many details worked out like goals, payment of deliverables, etc that is important in making sure that the contractor meets its obligations and the gov't/business also has to routinely monitor all contract work to be assured that all work is being done the way it is supposed to be done and timely.

By Arkive on 1/13/2014 11:12:09 AM , Rating: 1
$90M to create and manage one website? Explain this please using examples of other sites with similar cost structures.

RE: What?
By ipay on 1/13/2014 11:31:17 AM , Rating: 2
I would never defend the cost, implementation, or anything like that, but calling it "one website" undermines the complexity of such a system. Many interfaces to unconnected data repositories/systems had to be built, connections to IRS records for example. It's quite a complex and involved set of systems and subsystems. Various pieces were done by different contractors, this is almost always going to complicate things and lead to overruns and increased costs.

RE: What?
By Samus on 1/13/2014 1:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the way this government splooges steamy money all over contractors faces, 90M seams like a steal to maintain this website.

Any Bets...
By mmatis on 1/14/2014 7:40:35 AM , Rating: 2
on why Accenture got the job? Couldn't be that they made a major campaign contribution now, could it?

By wasteoid on 1/13/14, Rating: 0
"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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