$122 Million Payments To HealthCare.gov Contractor Being Withheld By States

CGI Group was hired by the federal government to construct the government’s HealthCare.gov website.  We’ve all heard about the dismal failure of their website.  It couldn’t handle the load of people trying to use.  When people did manage to log on, it often would crash during their enrollment application process.  For some of the few that managed to complete the process, the website deleted some or all of the person’s information or it failed to register their application and so on.

I know in the civilian world of business, such a catastrophic failure would not have been tolerated, especially when the contractor was paid hundreds of millions of dollars to produce a workable website.  Perhaps that is the justice behind Obama having the contract awarded to a Canadian based firm instead of keeping jobs in the US.

CGI Group was also hired by some states to construct their state’s Obamacare exchange websites and these sites have also shared in the disastrous malfunctions experienced by the federal website.

Although Massachusetts already had a state run health industry, they hired CGI to build the new state exchange site so as to comply with Obamacare rules and guidelines.  The new website failed when it came to determining eligibility for the various health plans.  It also had issues with just setting up accounts and establishing passwords.

The total cost for the CGI built website was $69 million, of which the state has only paid $11 million.  They say they are withholding the remaining $58 million until the website works the way it’s supposed to work.  Jason Lefferts, spokesman for the Massachusetts exchange program commented:

“CGI has consistently underperformed, which is frustrating and a serious concern.  We are holding the vendor accountable for its underperformance and will continue to apply nonstop pressure to work to fix defects and improve performance.”

In Vermont, the CGI built exchange website was ever worse.  No one managed to successfully purchase a health plan through the site until earlier this month.  Vermont’s contract with CGI was for $82.6 million, of which the state has only paid $18.6 million.  The state’s exchange officials have said that they are withholding $5.1 million worth of payments because CGI failed to meet important deadlines.

Both states have said that they are considering the possibility of legal action against CGI for their failed performance.  Jean Yang, Exchange Director for Massachusetts says that CGI failed to commit enough resources for constructing the website and thus failed to meet the terms of the contract.

CGI Group was initially contracted to build the federal government’s HealthCare.gov site for $93.7 million.  That figure has swelled to nearly $300 million and the site still isn’t working properly.  They also were contracted to build a number of the state exchange programs other than Massachusetts and Vermont.  The company literally stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars off of the Obamacare mandated exchange programs.  A few states such as Kentucky seem to have a website that is working, but this may be more the exception than the rule.

Breitbart reported that CGI was contracted to build the federal gun registry for Canada, but the contract was canceled in 2007 when Canadian officials discovered that the project had run way over budget and was rife with delays and problems.  With their dismal record, why did the Obama administration and so many states contract with CGI to build their websites?  Did anyone do any research on this company and their track record before agreeing to pay them hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars?  Not only should CGI be sued for failure to meet the terms of their contracts, the idiots that awarded them the contracts should also be sued and lose their jobs for incompetence.