The Affordable Care Act's website HealthCare.gov, a stupendous flop, is just one of many technological failures on the government's watch and the taxpayers' nickel, The Los Angeles Times reports.
The federal government's System for Award Management, known by the acronym SAM, fell flat at its launch last year. The project, which attempted to aggregate nine government databases in one Web portal, rolled out two months late following missed deadlines and overspending.
And like HealthCare.gov, SAM.gov may have exposed users' personal information. The General Services Administration in March apologized for all the problems with the site intended to use one portal for private companies trying to get government business as well as government and civilian employees who award them.
The government hired IBM as its main contractor, paying it $74.4 million over eight years. The government underestimated the project cost by $38 million.
After spending in excess of $1 billion over seven years, the Air Force last year scrapped a program to modernize supply management. The reason? Mismanagement and an underestimation of what was needed to undertake the large project, according to a review team report.
IT, short for information technology, is where the largest gap lies between the public and private sector, according to President Barack Obama.
This year alone, more than $76 billion is being spent on technology. In January, the government has found that 700 of those projects — totaling $12.5 billion — were in trouble.
"Clearly the federal IT system is broken," said Michael Krigsman, an industry analyst specializing in project failures.
While technology issues also occur in private companies, they typically involve far less waste and are not relying on government funding, according to experts, who blame the problems on an outdated contracting system paired with the fast-paced world of technology.
"The appropriations process is stuck in a horse and buggy era," a tech-industry lobbyist told the Times.
Ironically, the mastery of technology helped get President Obama re-elected in 2012, USA Today reports
, surmising that perhaps his campaign was so successful because it wasn't a "government operation."
"Obama without the government — a technological success," USA Today writes. "Obama with the government — a technological embarrassment."
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