OTR Interviews

Inside CGI, the company that botched HealthCare.gov

The ObamaCare site is just the latest bungling by CGI


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 3, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Bicycles. Does that have anything to do with building the health care website? Sure doesn't seem like it would, but apparently that isn't what CGI thinks. "Newsweek's" Lynnley Browning is investigating CGI. She joins us.

Good evening. I should add that how they are spending their time is not on taxpayer dime, but tell me about this 2009 event that they had.

LYNNLEY BROWNING, "NEWSWEEK" CONTRIBUTOR: This event, Greta, was an offsite meeting. Primarily of the top brass at CGI Federal which is the main contractor responsible for HealthCare.gov. It included, it being the offsite event some team building exercises. These exercises are ripe in corporate America. In this particular case the exercise involved people putting together children's bicycles with tassels and things apparently got out of hand a little and people ended up riding the bicycles drunk through the hallways of this luxury resort.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me emphasize private company as well as on the taxpayer dime this one. I want to reemphasize that. What is CGI? Who are they?

BROWNING: CGI is interesting. CGI Federal is based in Fairfax, Virginia. They are a very major subcontractor and contractor of the U.S. government. They basically are a technology company that does the plumbing on all kinds of wonky complex complicated projects. They are owned in turn by CGI Group which is based in Montreal. It's a Canadian company. They are a huge technology company. They are probably the biggest and right now most important company you have never heard of.

VAN SUSTEREN: How are they doing financially? I saw one part of your story shorted a lot. Never a good sign when your shares are being shorted.

BROWNING: Well, typically, when your stock is being shorted, people are betting that your stock price is overvalued and the shares are going to fall. But things can turn sour on that if there is a short squeeze. Most people would say that's generally not good news.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are they getting contracts right now? Are they a thriving company?

BROWNING: They have a lot of legacy contracts that he they are working through. They have bids going through on new contracts. They have had, according to financial analysts a slowdown in some bookings, but all of these contracts are long tail. You have the problems and glitches right now with healthcare.gov, but you have a lot of on-going projects and contracts with other U.S. government and foreign agencies.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, CGI Federal with CGI Federal - who started the company?

BROWNING: Company, entire company started in 1976 in Quebec City by a Frenchman. He built this into a technological behemoth, generally over the years through what the company calls a buy and build strategy. They have acquired many, many, many dozen, somewhere upwards of 70 companies over time and they have become huge.

VAN SUSTEREN: Lynnley, thank you very much. Great article in "Newsweek." Thank you, Lynnley.

BROWNING: Thank you.