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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: How was CGI supposed to do any debugging without access to the logs?

I hold no brief for rent-extracting behemoth contractors, but even the best contractor is only as good as their client, and HHS -> the West Wing -> Obama seem to have been terrible clients. CNN:

The Obama administration was given stark warnings just one month before launch that the federal healthcare site was not ready to go live, according to a confidential report obtained by CNN.

The caution, from the main contractor CGI, warned of a number of open risks and issues for the web site even as company executives were testifying publicly that the project had achieved key milestones. ...

But the CGI document, which describes "top risks currently open" and "outstanding issues currently being mitigated" says the testing timeframes are "not adequate to complete full functional, system, and integration testing activities" and lists the impact of the problems as "significant."

Another element is listed as "not enough time in schedule to conduct adequate performance testing" and given the highest priority.

CGI had no comment other than to confirm authenticity of the report that also gave "the highest priority" and warns "we don't have access to monitoring tools" and "hub services are intermittently unavailable" -- short for the "site's not working sometimes."

One concern, listed as "severe," warned, "CGI does not have access to necessary tools to manage envs in test, imp, and prod. Specifically (1) we don't have access to central log collection / view (2) we don't have access to monitoring tools. We have repeatedly asked CMS and URS but have not been granted this access."

Seems to me that when your main contractor says they need debugging information, you give it to them. Right?

Note this story is from two days ago, so I apologize for not getting to it earlier; I'm preparing for the heating season. But the ObamaCare is such a target-rich environment, it's almost impossible to get to everything. This incident, however, struck me as remarkable.

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Submitted by lambert on

Hatch, Grassley Request Contractors Detail Role, Work on

WASHINGTON – Today, Finance and Judiciary Committee Ranking Members Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent letters to the 47 different companies that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contracted with to develop, implement, and operate, ObamaCare’s online marketplace for the federal health insurance exchanges. The website has been plagued with delays, errors and faulty information since its launch on October 1.

The Senators requested a detailed analysis of the work each contractor has performed to date, the cost of that work, and timelines and deliverables that the entities had to meet for CMS as part of their scope of work in the development and creation of the website.

Hatch and Grassley sent the letter to the following contractors: A. Reddix & Associates; Accenture Federal Services; Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc; CGI; Cognosante, LLC; CSC; CSSi; CSSS; David-James, LLC; Deloitte; eGlobal Interactive; Genova Technologies; George Washington University; Heitech Services; HIS; IBM; ICP Systems, LLC; IDL Solutions; Information Systems Consulting Group Inc; Innosoft; KAT Communications; MAXIMUS Federal Services Inc; McKinsey &Co; Mitre; Northrop Gumman; Noblis; QSSI;Quality Technology;Porter Novelli Public Strategies; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Relis, LLC; Leidos; Sage North America; Sentel Corp; Serco; Soft-Con Enterprices; Spherecom; Strategi; Summit Consulting; Terremark; Truven Health Analytics; TICG; Turning Point Technologies; Unicom; URS; General Dynamics IT; and Verizon Business Network Services.

Looks like URS are doing CCIIO cloud work for the HHS in their Chantilly, VA office.


The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) is charged with helping implement many reforms of the Affordable Care Act, the historic health reform bill that was signed into law March 23, 2010. CCIIO oversees the implementation of the provisions related to private health insurance. In particular, CCIIO is working with states to establish new Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Interesting! I wish I knew more about how to dope out the contractors.

NOTE Too bad the list has to come from assholes like Hatch and Grassley, but with the Democrats, as I said, intellectually dishonest through silence, what can you do?

Submitted by hipparchia on

NOTE Too bad the list has to come from assholes like Hatch and Grassley, but with the Democrats, as I said, intellectually dishonest through silence, what can you do?

yep, the democrats are digging their own graves by allowing republicans to look like (and in this case perhaps, actually be) the sane, thoughtful, intelligent, truth-seeking party. what can you do? why, take full advantage of it, of course. use the information as much as you can. point out as often as you can that the republican party is doing the democratic party's work for them. etc.

(wow, that's quite the list, and it's been years since i've had anything to do with federal contracting, so i'm not sure where to start either).

Submitted by lambert on

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