A month after replacing the lead website contractor following the botched Obamacare rollout, The New York Times reports that the Obama administration will continue its working relationship with the company, CGI.
Despite last month’s decision to award worldwide contractor Accenture $91 million for a one-year contract, the government and CGI are expected this week to ink a deal to keep 58 of 189 CGI employees on the job until the end of March, according to The Times, which cited an unidentified source familiar with the procurement process. Three dozen CGI staffers may stay on through April.
In October, Bloomberg reported that between March 2010, when the president signed the Affordable Care Act into law, and September 2013, CGI Federal had been awarded $422 million.
The turnabout comes after eight federal health officials wrote a memo warning that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website “urgently needed repairs,” and blamed CGI for the problems, saying the company had failed to deliver software and services needed to store enrollment data, calculate subsidies, pay insurers, and perform other essential tasks.
The Washington Post reported last month that the government replaced CGI because it had not “been effective enough in fixing the intricate computer system underpinning the federal website.”
A CGI spokeswoman told The Times that the company is committed to the project and stands “ready to contribute our expertise as needed.”
Despite assurances by a CGI official in September that the site would be fully functional for the Oct. 1 launch, “the site failed to load, returned countless error messages, and generally thwarted the attempts of millions of users to create accounts, shop for coverage or enroll,” according to a Reuters report.
The glitches stirred nationwide controversy and resulted in harsh criticism for the Obamacare healthcare reform law.
A March 31 enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act looms, adding additional pressure on Accenture, now the lead contractor. The Times reports that the HealthCare.gov site is still not performing certain functions, such as”providing a ‘special enrollment period’ to consumers who become newly eligible or ineligible for federal subsidies because of a change in income.”
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By Melissa Clyne