Seven months after federal officials fired CGI Federal for its botched work on Obamacare website Healthcare.gov, the IRS awarded the same company a $4.5 million IT contract for its new Obamacare tax program.
CGI is a $10.5 billion Montreal-based company that has forever been etched into the public’s mind as the company behind the bungled Obamacare main website.
After facing a year of embarrassing failures, federal officials finally pulled the plug on the company and terminated CGI’s contract in January 2014.
Yet on Aug. 11, seven months later, IRS officials signed a new contract with CGI to provide “critical functions” and “management support” for its Obamacare tax program, according to the Federal Procurement Data System, a federal government procurement database.
The IRS contract is worth $4.46 million, according to the FPDS data. The contract expires Aug. 15, 2015.
Prior to terminating CGI’s contract, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress, “I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.” She called the CGI-designed website a “debacle.”
A joint Senate Finance and Judiciary Committee staff report in June 2014 found that Turning Point Global Solutions, hired by HHS to review CGI’s performance on Healthcare.gov, reported they found 21,000 lines of defective software code inserted by CGI.
Scott Amey, the general counsel for the non-profit Project on Government Oversight, which reviews government contracting, examined the IRS contract with CGI.
“CGI was the poster child for government failure,” he told The Daily Caller. “I am shocked that the IRS has turned around and is using them for Obamacare IT work.”
Washington was not the only city that has been fed up with CGI on healthcare.
Last year, CGI was fired by the liberal states of Vermont and Massachusetts for failing to deliver on their Obamacare websites.
The Obamacare health website in Massachusetts never worked, despite the state paying $170 million to CGI.
Massachusetts, the state that pioneered government healthcare through its Romneycare health insurance program in 2006, could only enroll 31,000 people in 2014. Most enrolments were through paper applications.
And in Vermont, state officials pulled the plug on CGI after its system failed to work for 10 months. Vermont had paid $66.7 million to CGI. The state imposed a $5 million penalty on the company for shoddy work.
CGI’s 2014 annual report says nothing about the disastrous rollout of online healthcare websites in the United States.
Curiously, CGI features its online health work in Helsinki, London, Alberta, Saskatchewan and for the New York State of Mental Health, but says nothing about its ruined rollout of Obamacare web sites.
In Canada, CGI’s parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was just as deficient.
Ontario health officials fired CGI after it failed to deliver a flagship provincial online health registry.
About 7 million Obamacare policyholders and about 20 million Americans who don’t have healthcare coverage will depend this year on the proper IRS processing of their 2014 income tax returns.
Improper processing of health information could cause some Americans to receive smaller tax refunds, or even pay more out-of-pocket for their government-issued healthcare policies.
A September 2013 audit by the IRS inspector general criticized the tax agency’s software and computer systems aimed to process Obamacare tax return forms.
Michael E. McKenney, the acting deputy inspector general, found many problems with the IRS software, including lax security and fraud controls.
Government auditors found “Many of the vulnerabilities in information systems can be traced to software flaws and misconfigurations of system components.”
The IRS did not reply to numerous inquiries to the agency about the CGI contract.