Administration Dumps CGI as HealthCare.gov Contractor

Image: Administration Dumps CGI as HealthCare.gov Contractor

Friday, 10 Jan 2014 03:28 PM

By Courtney Coren

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The Obama Administration is dropping CGI Federal, the contractor responsible for building the glitch-laden HealthCare.gov website that has been a major source of the problems that hit Obamacare when open enrollment began in October, a source tells The Washington Post.

Federal officials will sign a new contract with the consulting firm Accenture for a 12-month period worth about $90 million to take over and fix the problems that continue to plague the government-run site, the source said. The CGI contract is set to expire at the end of February.

Accenture is a large consulting firm that has done work for states before but it has not done any major work for the federal government. It was the firm behind California's state-run health exchange website, CoveredCa.gov.

The consulting firm refused to comment on any potential contracts it currently has in the works.

"We are in discussions with potential clients all the time but it is not appropriate to discuss with the media contracts we may or may not be discussing," Joanne Veto, Accenture spokeswoman, told The Post.

Government officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees HealthCare.gov, would not confirm the change either.

"We continually evaluate our needs and remain focused on ensuring consumers have access to affordable, quality coverage," said CMS spokesman Aaron Albright.

While the front-end of the website was largely fixed by Nov. 30, 2013, there are still major problems with the back-end that is supposed to communicate with insurers. It has made it difficult to complete the enrollment process and left many without insurance even though they thought they had signed up.

Because of these lingering problems, the decision to end the contract with CGI on the part of the government does not come as a surprise.

The sources that spoke with The Post said the decision was made by CMS because of frustration with the quality of the work from CGI as well as the pace of the work when the company was repairing the website.

According to a report released by Bloomberg Government analyst Peter Gosselin, CGI was paid more than $1 billion for the deeply flawed website.

Tech experts who analyzed the website have said it shouldn't have cost more than $10 million to build HealthCare.gov. 

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