Who are the contractors responsible for the Obamacare, Affordable Care Act system and implementation?
- CGI Federal for the website
- Quality Software Systems Inc. (QSSI) for the information "hub"
- Booz Allen for enrollment and eligibility technical support
First, observe that one of the primary companies is a Canadian firm. Why in the world would the US government contract with a foreign firm for such an important system, especially when American firms need the business. Are you kidding me?
“Meet CGI Federal, the company behind the botched launch of HealthCare.gov
By Lydia DePillis, Published: October 16 at 12:52 pmE-mail the writer
Over the past few weeks, if you've been paying attention at all to the unfolding disaster of people trying and failing to sign up for Obamacare online, one name keeps coming up: CGI Federal, the IT contractor that has orchestrated most of the Healthcare.gov Web site. By most accounts, it's been a complete train wreck, for reasons both technical and bureaucratic. Here's what you need to know about the company at the center of it all.
What is CGI Federal?
Serge Godin, now a billionaire. (CGI Group)
CGI Federal is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian firm CGI Group, which was founded in Quebec City in 1976 by a pair or 26-year-olds named Serge Godin and Andre Imbeau. (CGI stands for "Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique" in French, which roughly translates to "Information Systems and Management Consultants"). Growing through scores of acquisitions, and providing outsourced IT services to massive companies such as Bell Canada and Quebec's provincial pension plan, CGI's business model depends on embedding itself deeply within an institution.”
In this instance, the Obama administration needs to do some explaining.
“HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Awards QSSI the Enterprise Identity Management Contract
June 18, 2012 - The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently awarded the Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) Contract to Maryland-based QSSI. The goal of the EIDM project is for healthcare providers to have the ability to use one credential to access multiple applications, serving the identity management needs of new systems as well as legacy systems. With this effort, CMS expects security will be increased through strengthened identity proofing and assurance that information is being shared appropriately with authorized persons.”
Here is the CEO
“Bikram Bakshi, President & CEO
After serving in an advisory capacity to QSSI for a number of years, Mr. Bakshi joined QSSI in 2005 as President & CEO. Mr. Bakshi is an inventor or co-inventor of eleven U.S. patents and author of several IEEE conference publications.
Prior to QSSI, Mr. Bakshi was Vice President and General Manager at BNX Systems (acquired by Citigroup) where he was responsible for sales, marketing, and development of Identity Management Solutions for worldwide markets. Mr. Bakshi also served as the Program Executive for one of the world's largest biometric technology deployments at a Fortune 10 Bank and played leadership roles in the pursuit of large biometric programs for the public sector. Previously, Mr. Bakshi held management and technical positions in the software organizations at Intel Corporation, Xerox PARC and Northern Telecom.
Mr. Bakshi has an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University and a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Delhi Institute of Technology.”
When attempting to reach the Booz Allen Hamilton site for this story, the wait was too long. Are they still trying to track down Edward Snowden?
“Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to www.boozallen.com”
Well that explains it.
Kathleen Sebelius, it would be too easy to say, “You are fired.” It would be punishment enough to say, you must fix this system.
“The website for the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") launched just last week. With all the scrutiny and debate happening, if ever there was a website launch that was "too big to fail," this was it. So, of course, it did—depending on how you define "failure." The inability of Obamacare portals to keep up with the traffic demands initially put upon them has been seized by politicians and conservative pundits as evidence that Obamacare "is not ready for prime time" in the words of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Now, a week later, the site appears to be stabilizing, with waiting times dropping dramatically for those who haven't been able to register before.
A test of the site this morning had me waiting four minutes to get to the signup page; others got on instantly. But problems persist beyond the front door. The contractors responsible for the exchange—CGI Federal for the website itself, Quality Software Systems Inc. (QSSI) for the information "hub" that determines eligibility for programs and provides the data on qualified insurance plans, and Booz Allen for enrollment and eligibility technical support—are scrambling to deploy more fixes. Technical support call center operators continue to handle an onslaught of calls from users who can't get back into the system after registering.”