Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Capabilities of the Firm Kathleen Sebelius Hired to Design

James Kwak writes:
Ezra Klein, one of the biggest supporters of Obamacare the statute, has already called the launch of Obamacare a “disaster,” and it looks like things are now getting worse: as people are actually able to buy insurance, the data being passed to health insurers are riddled with errors (something Klein anticipated), in effect requiring applications to be verified over the phone. Bad software is one of my blogging sidelights, so I wanted to find out who built this particular example, and I found Farhad Manjoo’s WSJ column, which fingered CGI, a big old IT consulting firm (meaning that they do big, custom, software development projects, mainly for big companies). (See here for more on CGI.)
CGI was a distant competitor of my old company. I don’t recall facing them head-to-head in any deals (although my memory could be failing me), but they claimed to make insurance claim systems, which is the business we were in. So I don’t have an opinion on them specifically, but I do have an opinion on the general category of big IT consulting firms: they do crappy work, at least when they are building systems from scratch. 

1 comment:

  1. It bears repeating that CGI apparently didn't even have to bid for the work. Instead, CMS relied on CGI's Bush-era pre-qualification to award the work via the ID/IQ (Indefinite Delivery and Indefinite Quantity) procurement method.

    Seems the delivery part is accurately described, but the Q should be changed to Quality.