VANCOUVER – The U.S. government has decided to cut its ties with the Canadian-owned technology firm that was behind the development of the beleaguered HealthCare.gov website, according to a U.S. report.
The government contracted the American subsidiary of Quebec-based CGI Group Inc. to carry out a significant portion of the work on the $400-million website — the gateway for U.S. citizens to apply for affordable health care coverage.
According to a report on the Washington Post‘s website on Friday, the Obama administration is preparing to end its relationship with CGI Federal and sign a new 12-month contract with another firm.
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The Washington Post cites “officials familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity” as saying the government will sign a deal with Accenture, a multinational tech consulting firm headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
Bloomberg News also reported it confirmed the news with “a person familiar with the decision… who asked not to be identified because the decision isn’t public.”
President Barack Obama and his administration took a great deal of flack from pundits and the American public for serious faults in the website, including a step that required visitors to the site to sign up for an account before they could browse healthcare options.
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That created a bottleneck in traffic to the site, after it went online on Oct. 1, 2013, causing it to jam up.
It was just one of many flaws that required months of repair work.
“The administration’s decision to end the contract with CGI reflects lingering unease over the performance of HealthCare.gov, even as officials have touted recent improvements and the rising numbers of Americans who have used the marketplace to sign up for health coverage that took effect Jan. 1,” the Washington Post reported.
According to the Washington Post the government had the option to renew the contract, set to end in February, for another year.
CGI Federal was responsible for a significant portion of the work that went into the more than $400-million project. CGI’s chunk of that price tag reportedly amounted to almost $292 million, as of October 2013.
More than 2 million Americans have signed up for coverage through the federal marketplace covering 36 states and exchanges in 14 states, The Associated Press reported. At the same time, at least 4.7 million people who buy their own insurance were told their policies would no longer be offered this year because they failed to meet the standards of the law.
*With files from The Associated Press