Shortened Bidding Process Limited Obamacare Contractor Options

CGI was one of only four companies to bid on

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 24: Senior vice president of CGI Federal Cheryl Campbell (L) and group executive vice president for Optum/QSSI Andrew Slavitt testify during a hearing on implementation of the Affordable Care Act before the House Energy and Commerce Committee October 24, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Developers who helped to build the website for people to buy health insurance under Obamacare testified before the panel on what had gone wrong to cause the technical difficulties in accessing the site.
National Journal
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Sophie Novack
Nov. 4, 2013, 3:16 a.m.

The Oct. 1 dead­line to launch Health­ made the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion use an ac­cel­er­ated bid­ding sys­tem that lim­ited the choice of con­tract­ors to only four com­pan­ies, Bloomberg re­ports.

The ex­ped­ited pro­cess cut up to nine months from the nor­mal pro­cess, but lim­ited those that could bid to a pre­approved group of 16 com­pan­ies. Only four of the 16 ended up bid­ding for the work, in­clud­ing CGI, the com­pany that ul­ti­mately won the job.

The con­tract­or was then giv­en about two years to build the fed­er­al ex­change web­site.

CGI had pre­vi­ously worked with the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Medi­caid Ser­vices on Medi­, as well as oth­er pro­jects.

Fol­low­ing the prob­lem­at­ic rol­lout of the en­roll­ment web­site, both Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­ret­ary Kath­leen Se­beli­us and CMS Ad­min­is­trat­or Mar­ilyn Taven­ner test­i­fied that CGI did not meet ex­pect­a­tions out­lined in its con­tract. However, CGI test­i­fied that end-to-end test­ing and over­all func­tion­al­ity of the site was the re­spons­ib­il­ity of CMS.

CGI will con­tin­ue work­ing on re­pairs to Health­, but it will now be su­per­vised by QSSI, the com­pany re­spons­ible for cre­at­ing the site’s data ser­vices hub. QSSI was re­cently named lead con­tract­or as part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “tech surge” to fix the web­site.


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