“CGI will not abide by any assertion that our company bears exclusive, or even primary, responsibility for the issues to date on the project,” CGI President George Schindler wrote in a March 14 letter to state Obamacare Web czar Sarah Iselin just three days before the state dumped the firm from the project.
Yet CGI claims:
• The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Health Connector are still at odds with each other. During a March 11 meeting, HHS officials described the need to work with CGI as a “high priority,” while Connector staff called it “no longer a requirement.” With the two agencies infighting, “the decision process was slow, and at times circular,” CGI said.
• State officials still can’t decide what the site should feature, resulting in further delays — nearly a third of the system’s requirements haven’t been finalized. “It is not reasonable to expect CGI to build what the commonwealth has yet to define fully,” wrote Schindler.
• CGI has received more than 400 requests to add more features to the site or change completed ones.
• State officials often agreed on one plan during working sessions, only to be overridden later on by higher-ups who weren’t present at the meetings.
• The state even ignored pleas from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which recommended delaying certain website extras to focus on Obamacare-required components. Though both CGI and the state acknowledged in mid-May that the schedule going forward was “risky,” state officials forced even more add-ons in the four months before the Oct. 1 launch.
To recap, Mitt Romney left us with a functioning health connector site (much as we wish he hadn’t); only the dictates of ObamaCare made us scrap it and take up with CGI, the company that failed so spectacularly with the federal website.
What we’re left with is an orgy of suck:
Health Connector spokesman Jason Lefferts told the Herald last night: “CGI’s underperformance at the state and national level is well-documented, and most recently captured by the third-party, independent MITRE and Microsoft reports. Their attempt at deflecting blame is unproductive.”
CGI declined comment yesterday and referred to a March 17 statement in which it promised to work with the state to “ensure a smooth transition.”
Joshua Archambault of the Pioneer Institute said state officials deserve just as much blame as CGI. “I don’t think the state has been as transparent about its own flaws during this process, and I hope the future will present opportunities for them to have to explain themselves for what happened in the past and how they’ll prevent the same mistakes in the future,” he said.
Lord, if Mitt Romney can’t be our president, why can’t he at least be our governor?