Government Hires Contractor Accenture for HealthCare.gov, Kicks CGI Federal Out
January 13, 2014 10:15 AM
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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
, Accenture is the new contractor in charge of HealthCare.gov. 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 HealthCare.gov," said David Moskovitz, chief executive of Accenture Federal Services.
HealthCare.gov'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 HealthCare.gov 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 HealthCare.gov's troubles, and found emails from the project manager back in July 2013 that warned of potential issues that could arise. HealthCare.gov 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 HealthCare.gov's launch.
Microsoft even offered its help
with HealthCare.gov'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 HealthCare.gov's problems, and the government ended up pulling former Microsoft Office executive Kurt DelBene in to help out.
Obama has called the website glitches
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1/13/2014 11:31:17 AM
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.
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