Monday, October 21, 2013

Another Kind of Bailout

Most people by now know that Web site, the "digital portal" to the benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act, was launched in a seriously broken state. Today, President Barack Obama released the following statement:
Experts from some of America's top private-sector tech companies, who have seen things like this happen before, are reaching out and offering to send help. We've had some of the best IT talent in the entire country join the team, and we're well into a tech surge to fix the problem.
This seems to affirm the proposition that the government cannot attract even adequate talent to provide its software needs. However, it also carries the ironic corollary that, in contrast to situations of financial crisis, this is a case in which the private sector is stepping up to bail out the government!

1 comment:

DigitalDan said...

I've concluded that the administration either had to or chose to assign this task to HHS, which in turn used its normal government contracting methods (and rules) to obtain this service. The result was a contract to a company (or multiple companies) with at best a modest track record in turning out great high-volume web sites.

I suspect it would be easy at the level where the decisions were made to assume that their normal procurement processes would produce an adequate result in this instance, even though the requirements were reportedly frozen only at a very late date.

This failure does not read on the validity of the law or its intent, but it could easily influence the new program's success.