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Government to drop Obamacare website contractor

The government is letting go of CGI Federal before their contract ends at the end of February.
The government is letting go of CGI Federal before their contract ends at the end of February. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The IT contractor responsible for putting together the much maligned Obamacare website is being dropped by the government. Washington Post reports on Jan. 10 that the government will now pursue a one-year contract with another contractor for nearly $900 million. The government concluded that CGI Federal has not been effective in fixing Healthcare.gov.

They will now move forward with Accenture. Washington Post’s report states that the firm has a long history of dealing with computer systems on the state level and even built California’s health insurance exchange. However, the consulting firm has not had experience with any federal healthcare plan.

So far, Washington Post’s report is based on information close to the matter. However, no one from CGI Federal, Accenture or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will confirm the switch. However, the existing contract with CGI is set to run out at the end of February, so it isn’t unlikely that the government would be ready to move on a few months early, especially considering the past history.

Officials who have remained unnamed ahead of the official announcement have noted that leaders with the CMS have become frustrated with the quality how CGI’s fixes for the issues with the healthcare marketplace.

The change should be a positive one. As Washington post notes, Accenture has “significant technological expertise.” However, it appears that Accenture and CGI have competed for projects in the past and problems could potentially arise on that front. As this change in contractors will require both firms to work together as the project changes hands, the outgoing firm will hopefully do their part in a timely manner.