recommended reading

HHS Chief Seeks Investigation Into Obamacare Website Contracts

“I am requesting that your office undertake a review of the work of our contractors, and the management of and payments to those contractors, in the development of HealthCare.gov,” Kathleen Sebelius wrote.

“I am requesting that your office undertake a review of the work of our contractors, and the management of and payments to those contractors, in the development of HealthCare.gov,” Kathleen Sebelius wrote. // J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday asked the department’s inspector general to investigate the contracting process behind the government’s botched rollout of the online health insurance exchange in October.

In a letter to Inspector General Daniel Levinson, Sebelius said it’s critical to understand the factors that contributed to the failed launch of HealthCare.gov. “I am requesting that your office undertake a review of the work of our contractors, and the management of and payments to those contractors, in the development of HealthCare.gov,” she wrote.

Specifically, she requested an investigation of the acquisition process; contractor selection and project management; contractor performance and monitoring; and payments to contractors throughout the process.

In a blog post on HHS’ website this morning, Sebelius said the investigation was one in a series of steps she was announcing to “better understanding the structural and managerial policies that led to the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.”

“These actions will also focus on our work with contractors. This is critical, because HHS is the third largest federal contracting agency, and CMS alone spent $5.3 billion in 2013 on contracting engagements. We must take steps to ensure that our contractors are well managed, and that they fulfill their commitments and provide good services and products for our tax dollars.”

In addition to requesting the IG investigation, Sebelius asked Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the HHS agency responsible for developing the health exchange website, to create a new position for a chief risk officer at the agency.

“The chief risk officer’s first assignment will be to review risk management practices when it comes to IT acquisition and contracting, starting with identifying the risk factors that impeded the successful launch of the HealthCare.gov website,” Sebelius said.  “I will ask this individual to report back to me in 60 days with recommendations for strategies to mitigate risks in future large-scale, CMS contracting and IT acquisition projects.”

Finally, she said CMS will update and expand employee training on best practices for contractor and procurement management, rules and procedures. 

Threatwatch Alert

Stolen laptop

Wireless Heart Monitor Maker to Pay $2.5M Settlement to HHS After Laptop Stolen

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.