U.S. drops contractor for work on Obamacare website
January 10th, 2014
12:13 PM ET
6 months ago

U.S. drops contractor for work on Obamacare website

Updated 1:32 p.m. ET, 1/10/14

(CNN) - The Obama administration has cut ties with CGI Federal for its work as the main contractor on the Obamacare website, a source familiar with the decision told CNN.

The contract was up and not renewed, the source said.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency charged with overseeing development of the website, said in a statement that it was working with its "contract partners" to ensure a "mutually agreed upon transition."

The flawed launch of the website in October was a big political setback for President Barack Obama.

Fixes since have resulted in improved performance of the online portal, where consumers can shop for health coverage.

The politically charged health care law, the Affordable Care Act, aims to allow millions of Americans without coverage to access insurance.

More than 2 million people had signed up so far under Obamacare at the end of 2013 with about half enrolling through the federal marketplace, officials said.

A number of states also have their own portals and other programs to sign people up for coverage.

CGI couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

It was lead contractor for building the problematic front-facing side of HealthCare.gov, a job with an original two-year contract valued at nearly $100 million.

The company came under fire following the webstie's difficult launch as users experienced major problems accessing the site, creating profiles and selecting insurance plans.

During testimony before Congress in October, CGI Senior Vice President Cheryl Campbell denied any wrongdoing by her company, telling legislators that it was not "unusual to discover problems" in a system with so many concurrent users that would need to be addressed after going live.

As part of Obamacare implementation, CGI is also performing exchange work in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Kentucky, New Mexico and Vermont, according to the company's website.

Officials in several of those states have also expressed dissatisfaction with CGI's performance.

Based in Canada, CGI presents itself as the world's fifth largest independent IT and business process services company.

The company has experience in health care IT as a partner to some of the Canadian Ministries of Health and as a provider of secure electronic medical records in Europe.

Its U.S. government contracting branch, CGI-Federal, has done more than $2.5 billion in business with more than two dozen government agencies since 2001, according to a search at USASpending.gov.

This includes nearly a billion dollars of work with the Health and Human Services Department, CMS's parent agency, as well as the Pentagon.


Filed under: Health care • Obamacare
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Getoverit

    I hope they demanded a refund.

    January 10, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    "Is he any relation to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick?"
    ------
    Yeah, yeah, that's his clone. Sometimes it's hard to tell that there's actually two of them. That's how he gets so much done, you know. There two of them, especially on Fridays.
    ---------
    You can have him. The dude is as worthless as an ashtray on a motorcycle. Wasn't going to be re-elected, so had his state treasurer leave the democratic party and run as a 3rd-party "independent" to siphon off votes from Charlie Baker. The treasurer was then indicted for using state funds to run pro-lottery advertisements blowing their horns during the campaign. Oh yeah, real stand-up guy there, that "Duval" Patrick. Why he's so good you cannot even spell his name. Why not tell us some of the qualities in him you find so redeeming?

    January 10, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. TONE

    Good Mr President now investigate them for sabotage.

    January 10, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Blake

    Was about time. During this whole uproar about the site, I was wondering how a small group of website experts were able to basically fix and recreate the website from scratch in one month, while this CGI contractor with probably a much larger workforce, could hardly get it working after a year plus of construction. The website debacle was a perfect example of bad government oversight, but as many people miss in government at all levels, there are private contractors that take advantage of government and try to milk projects for all their worth, by delaying and extending projects solely for extra monetary gain.

    It's the same in all levels of Government all over the world. People need to get upset with contractors over charging and underperforming, wasting their tax dollars and bureaucrats in government that don't know what they're doing overseeing them. Just going after the politician at the top that's been in his job for 1-8 years, while leaving the same Gov workers and contractors in place to mess up for another 10-40+ years, does nothing to fix the disfunction. I'm betting what's happened is that the real workers, the "A team" recruited to fix the site, told the Administration just how bad an inadequate the work was on the Website and how they, or any website maker worth their salt, could have made it at a 10th of the cost and time.

    January 10, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Bob

    Thank you, JOHN, for telling us what the American people want, in all caps, none the less. Would your suggestion be implemented after we pay for the unprovoked attack on Iraq that was put on a credit card? Or would you propose taking money from food stamps and unemployment benefits to pay for the war contractors who are making money from spilled American blood?

    January 10, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    John Geheran wrote:

    Is it true that this contract was awarded on a "no bid" basis? Is it true that a principal of CGI was a classmate of Michelle Obama at Princeton? Is it true that the original budget for this work was exceeded by a factor of ten?
    -------------------------------–
    -The government bidding process has its' flaws.
    -CGI is the same company that worked on many state sites, and put itself in the doghouse with Canada.
    -The original budget for this work was based on the assumption that all states would create their own sites.

    January 10, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. JJ

    Obamanocare is a disaster. Obama and the Democrat Party have destroyed the US healthcare system, the greatest in the world. Tens of millions of people are losing their current policies, seeing huge insurance premium increases and losing their doctors. This is a travesty. Obamanocare was originated, written and passed only by the Democrat Party and they should be held accountable. Obama should be IMPEACHED for lying to the American people (and Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS & NSA), every Democrat should be voted out of office in 2014 and 2016 for creating this catastrophe of a law and all should feel the wrath of the American people. Someone needs to publish the names of all the Democrat lawyers and activists like Ezekiel Emanuel and Jonathan Gruber (MIT), who wrote this 2,600 page disastrous bill so that they can also feel the wrath of the American people.

    January 10, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Blake

    @ John Geheran

    The no bid contract thing was started in a viral email and doesn't have teeth. There was a small bidding contest between certain companies for different parts of the Website, but wasn't a full tender/bidding contract. The emails that started it and the info we have today is that Michelle Obama and Townes-Whitley are guilty of going to Princeton at the same time, being black (belonging to the Association of Black Princeton Alumni), belonging to similar student groups and Townes-Whitley going to a party at the White House 3-4 times. Also Townes-Whitley job had nothing to do with contracts in her job.

    The Obamacare Website contract wasn't a singular contract either, but was part of a bulk contract for multiple projects and access to compete for them (why there was no true bidding war for Obamacare Website). The real contract was competed for and given in 2007, before Pres. Obama was elected and Michelle Obama was First Lady.

    Essentially you've been duped by a story that got headlines because of the "intrigue," but doesn't have legs when you start looking at when and how things were actually done. Basically consverative interest groups taking advantage of ignorance.

    January 10, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Good ridence, they are worse then the incompetent GOP bafoons!!!!!

    January 10, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    SO; the ‘Mostly Correct Obama’ administration has severed ties with CGI Federal.

    What the rightwing crybaby losers want is for every person that signed the Democratic Party Health Care (Obamacare) bill to RESIGN EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! Fortunately, they're a minority and their numbers are more and more every day!

    January 10, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    I wonder when our illustrious governor here in Florida will have the Unemployment website fixed. The only way to apply for benefits in Florida is through the website. Problem is it hasn't worked properly since October 1. Those shrinking UE numbers he likes to brag about have nothing to do with job creation and everything to do with the fact that he's made it impossible for a great many Floridians to even apply for benefits.

    January 10, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    JJ

    Obamanocare is a disaster.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    But the ACA is a smashing success, except for the rightwing crybabies who keep lying about it only to have those lies blow up in their faces!

    January 10, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. Gunderson

    Well old Gunderson sorry but it was democrats that built Web Site. No work out too well no? Sooner or later you realize you no hire boy do man's job. Somebody need keep trains running on time. Next time hire real engineer.

    January 10, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Blake

    @ JJ

    Impeach no. Voted out of office? Sure if the voters feel that way.

    The fact is the only real "scandal" is the one with Obama lying or misleading people about plans, which could have been easily found out by news organizations if they read the law. The other, which isn't a scandal, but was definitely a major fumble, was the healthcare website rollout.

    All the others, have been proven time and time again to not be Scandals.

    Fast and Furious: The guns had trackers put on them, were stocked in stores in the USA, bought, made their way to Mexico and into the hands of Drug Dealers, in an attempt to track where these guns go. The fact is the agent that was killed would have been killed by the same type of gun without the Gov tracker on it, because he or someoen else, would have still bought a gun and got it to Mexico. That's it. There's no link to the AG or the President and was pretty much a in house op.

    IRS: Turned out, after months of investigation, that a Republican IRS head in an office started the scutiny on one case and to be consistent, ended up applying that to all Tea Party like groups. After more investigation, it was found that many, many liberal groups had the same investigation, but Issa decided not to release that info for months until he was forced to. No link to anyone in the Obama Admin.

    Benghazi: Issa strikes again. Months of investigation, it turns out the military called back troops etc because they couldn't get there in time and didn't want another Black Hawk Down situation. By the time they were ready to go the consulate attack was over. It was a secret CIA meeting/op that went bad and everyone was there by their own free will. Because of diplomatic restrictions, you could not have gotten enough people in the consulate to protect it against that scale of the attack. Essentially beefed up security could have meant more dead. It turns out that independent investigations are now blaming the video afterall and the 2 reports over the last 6 months that hinted at major scandal (the ABC email report and the 60 minutes report) both turned out to be totally false and made up. This wasn't a scandal, it was at tragedy.

    January 10, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    would have much better if it was the other way round

    January 10, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Tony

    JJ, the tens of millions who have lost their policies seem to be rather quiet right now. Maybe it is because Obama allowed them to keep their policies anyway (assuming that insurance companies want to offer their old policies)? Maybe it is because Obama allowed them to buy catastrophic insurance instead (if insurance companies do not offer their old policies)? Maybe most of them only exist in your fevered imagination?

    January 10, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Furball

    They (CGI) should be sued and we should get our money back.

    January 10, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Tampa Tim

    Some right wingnut thinks private insurance competing for enrollees is going to ruin our 38th ranking in the world and destroy our health care system. Does anyone believe these crazy baggers?

    January 10, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -JJ

    Obamanocare is a disaster. Obama and the Democrat Party have destroyed the US healthcare system, the greatest in the world. Tens of millions of people are losing their current policies, seeing huge insurance premium increases and losing their doctors. This is a travesty. Obamanocare was originated, written and passed only by the Democrat Party and they should be held accountable. Obama should be IMPEACHED for lying to the American people (and Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS & NSA), every Democrat should be voted out of office in 2014 and 2016 for creating this catastrophe of a law and all should feel the wrath of the American people. Someone needs to publish the names of all the Democrat lawyers and activists like Ezekiel Emanuel and Jonathan Gruber (MIT), who wrote this 2,600 page disastrous bill so that they can also feel the wrath of the American people.
    ***********************************
    Do you get paid by the letter or by the word? Just curious, because you managed to condense and combine every drunken, frothing, screaming Right-Wing rant I've heard on the subject over the last 4+ years. Tell me, where did you get the idea that the Heritage Foundation was a liberal think tank? You did not lay a firm foundation for your argument when you started with that, along with the lie that tens of millions of people are losing their policies and seeing huge premium increases. Did you ever have your employer force you into a less effective plan, one that your doctor did not take, PRIOR to the ACA going into effect?

    January 10, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. CC333

    They were not fired, their contract was just not renewed. Big difference! We will never get the money back as the problem is lack of government oversight.

    January 10, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -Gunderson

    Well old Gunderson sorry but it was democrats that built Web Site. No work out too well no? Sooner or later you realize you no hire boy do man's job. Somebody need keep trains running on time. Next time hire real engineer.
    *****************
    Gunderson think this has to do with choo-choo going to Rock Ridge: are you pawn in game of life?

    January 10, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. TheRealPresidentObama

    I have now hired the same designer that does Disney's website to take over the New and Improved Obamacare website. The Obamacare website should be fixed now and it will be a huge success! Thank you for your patience!

    January 10, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Tampa Tim

    Gunny – Thanks for the baby talk. The republican health care website only needs to enroll two more and they will have an even number of two. Republicans can not do difficult things at all, but can condemn anyone who does something to help Americans.

    January 10, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. current state of the union

    Fair, does being black count? That Texas thing was telling no?

    January 10, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. sammy750

    The Republicans will be MAD, since they hired this firm years ago. It is part of the incompetence of the hiring practices of the Republicans.

    January 10, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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