The Obama administration has apparently decided to ditch one of the main IT contractors behind the faulty rollout of Healthcare.gov.
The Washington Post first reported Friday the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, chose not to extend its contract with CGI Federal, the company responsible for building, and subsequently fixing, the technology behind the federal insurance marketplace. The contract expires in February. (Via Healthcare.gov)
Following the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website, Politico notes CGI came under fire for poor management practices. The firm has also faced criticism from some state officials who used the contractor to build their healthcare exchanges.
CMS is now reportedly looking to ink a $90-$100 million deal with Accenture, a similar tech firm which helped build the healthcare exchange websites for California and Kentucky. CGI was also involved in those projects. (Via CBS)
A spokeswoman from CGI said the decision not to renew the contract was mutual, and highlighted the company's efforts to rebuild the Obamacare website.
"We are proud that more than 400 CGI employees worked around the clock from October through December to deliver a consumer experience that works for a vast majority of Americans." (Via The New York Times
But the president of another technology consulting firm told Newsweek the government doesn't often let contracts lapse early — and losing this one is bad news for CGI's future.
"Losing a project like this is such a huge black eye, it almost locks [CGI] out of the government. ... CGI was fundamentally the wrong company for this project."
And critics of the President's healthcare law see the switch as a sign the Obamacare website still hasn't recovered from the glitches that plagued its early days.
"I guess the real question to the administration is: which is it? Is it working fine, or isn't it? And if it isn't working fine, why do you need to change contractors?" (Via Fox News)
The announcement comes just as lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed a transparency bill requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to notify Healthcare.gov users of any potential security breaches which might affect their personal information.