The troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov is costing one company the renewal of its federal contract — and giving an outsourcing firm a plumb opportunity.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a U.S. government agency, is letting a deal with contractor CGI expire and signing a year-long contract with the outsourcing specialist Accenture, the Washington Post reported today.
The deal is worth around $90 million, according to the Post, attributing information to an unnamed source. Accenture didn’t confirm the existence of the contract in a statement a spokeswoman sent in an e-mail to VentureBeat.
“Accenture Federal Services is in discussions with clients and prospective clients all the time, but it is not appropriate to discuss new business opportunities we may or may not be pursuing,” the spokeswoman wrote.
The move suggests that the federal government understands it needs to do things differently to minimize political fallout after the Affordable Care Act’s website faced numerous challenges.
The pulling of the CGI contract comes three months after the bungled deployment HealthCare.gov. But it’s hardly the only thing the federal government has done to fix the situation.
Last month, the Obama administration brought in Kurt DelBene, the former president of Microsoft Office, to improve the site, replacing the person originally tasked with that challenge, Jeff Zients.
In November, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Health and Human Services would be ending a contract with Verizon Terremark for HealthCare.gov’s web hosting and signing a new contract with Hewlett-Packard for that work.
And in October, President Barack Obama expressed concerns about the HealthCare.gov issues, saying, “Nobody’s madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed.”
Taking away the contract from CGI — just one of several contractors, alongside Quality Software Solutions, Booz Allen, and others — and giving it to a different company gives the impression that the federal government wants to do all it can to make sure Obama’s promise gets fulfilled.