Finger pointing continues in Washington D.C, with not much else getting accomplished.
In a recent hearing to understand "What went wrong" with the Obamacare website rollout, members of congress heard from a procession of contract "Players" who blamed everyone, EXCEPT themselves. After raking in over $1.5 billion dollars of American taxpayer money, these same contractors did NOTHING to fix or remedy the issues.
The cost to American Taxpayers
This is NOT a case of "You get what you paid for" since more than $1.5 billion dollars either exchanged hands and/or allocated on contract. The contract "Players" include CGI Federal Inc. (CGI Group, $93.7M), Quality Software Services Inc ($55.1M), National Government Services (Wellpoint, $31.6M), MITRE Group ($22M), Genova Technology ($16M), Terremark Federal Group (Verizon, $15.5M) and SERCO ($1.2B)
Some members of congress, in particular Senator John McCain, proposed loading Airforce One with the smartest brains from the technology industry to fix the problem.
Who's Blaming Whom?
Cheryl R. Campbell, Senior Vice President of CGI Federal, a unit of CGI Group stated, "Unfortunately, in systems this complex, with so many concurrent users, it is not unusual to discover problems that need to be addressed once the software goes into a live production environment." She then proceeded to blame another contractor, Quality Software Services.
Andrew M. Slavitt, a United Health Care executive responsible for Quality Software Services, in turn, blamed the Obama administration. for a "Late decision requiring consumers to register for an account before they could browse for insurance products." He also blamed the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services for not fixing coding errors.
John Lau, a Program Director for Serco, yet another contractor, testified that they had seen an increase of paper applications. Serco's responsibility was to enter the data into the government's computerised eligibility system. He testified they were experiencing same issues as the consumers trying to use the system.
LIARS! LIARS! Pants on Fire!
On 10th September 2013, these SAME contractors testified and assured the committee that they were "Ready to handle the surge of users" when the Federal Exchange opened on 1st October 2013.
CONTRACTORS ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
YOUR BOTTOM LINE:
A contractor should never pawn-off their responsibility IF they were hired to do a specific job. They should work as a "team player," in unison with other contractors working on components of the same project, and NOT as an "independent" entity. There should be autonomy and freedom to create within one's own expertise, BUT that information MUST be shared among ALL the contractors, in order to create an efficient end results! Unfortunately, these contractors worked not in unison and as a team, but individually, without being checked, resulting in one big mess!
Unfortunately, fixing a problem will cost MORE money than implementing a working solution right, the first time.
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