Federal health site to get new contractor

Federal health site to get new contractor
| The Salt Lake TribuneWashington " The Obama administration has decided to jettison CGI Federal, the main IT contractor that was responsible for building the defect-ridden online health insurance marketplace and has been immersed in the work of repairing it. Federal health officials are preparing to sign a 12-month contract worth roughly $90 million, probably early next week, with a different company, Accenture, after concluding that CGI has not been effective enough in fixing the intricate computer system underpinning the federal website, HealthCare.gov, according to a person familiar with the matter.Tweet-->Join the DiscussionPost a CommentUtah Lt. Gov: New math text is "game changer"Published Jan 11, 2014 01:01:09AMScott D. Pierce: HBO is out in front of Utah on gay rightsPublished Jan 11, 2014 01:01:08AMLudacris, Kaskade, Steve Aoki among top musicians to perform during 2014 SundancePublished Jan 11, 2014 01:01:07AMYouTube has its own venue for Sundance Film FestivalPublished Jan 11, 2014 01:01:07AMAccording to officials familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision is not yet public, leaders of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - which oversees the online marketplace - became frustrated with the pace and quality of CGI"s work on the repairs. As federal officials and contractors have been trying to fix various aspects of the website in the past few http://webdesignerg.wordpress.com months, about half of the new software code the company has written has failed on the first try, according to internal federal information.CGI Federal was hired Sept. 30, 2011 as the main contractor to build one of the most complex computer systems the federal government has ever attempted to create. The company"s failure to deliver on key aspects of the project was one of the main reasons behind the site"s botched Oct. 1 launch, when error messages were generated when many consumers tried to shop for and select health plans online. President Barack Obama described the launch as one of his "fumbles," while Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called it a "debacle."Late last summer, CGI executives had expressed confidence to CMS that they could deliver a functioning, scaled-back http://storify.com/designerl version of the marketplace by the Oct. 1 start day. But a week before the launch, the company had failed to deliver on 45 percent of those tasks, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.The fact that there is now a less-than-two-month transition period before Accenture takes over - significantly shorter than ideal for major IT projects - presents its own challenges for the federal officials and contractors, and requires coordination between the outgoing and incoming firms.Because of time constraints, CMS is awarding the Accenture contract on a sole-source basis, according to the person familiar with the decision.The switch in contractors for the online marketplace reflects the administration"s broader effort to reassess how it handles its $80 billion-a-year IT contracting operations, now that HealthCare.gov"s performance is improving and more than 1 million Americans have selected plans on the exchange. The administration replaced the contractor that maintains the computer servers handling the data generated by HealthCare.gov, switching from Verizon"s Terremark to Hewlett-Packard. And it is preparing to sign a contract affirming that Quality Software Services, which took over as the project"s general contractor in late October, will stay on for at least another year to coordinate the system"s operation.The White House is also debating how it can change the way it handles technology projects government-wide, officials said, including proposals to establish an office that oversees IT ventures across agencies. Other changes include allowing agencies to circumvent the Office of Personnel Management"s hiring process by directly retaining software experts and rotating government technologists through stints in the private sector. The decision to turn to Accenture puts the project in the hands of a government contractor that has http://www.scribd.com/webdesignerx significant technological expertise but also signed a high-profile legal settlement with the Justice Department less than three years ago over its contracting practices. It is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm and lately has upgraded some states" social services systems in anticipation of the health-care law"s rollout.Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/57379581-68/cgi-federal-health-officials.html.csp