IG Cites Lax Oversight of HealthCare.gov Contractors


Contracting personnel at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services failed to follow basic contracting rules.

The disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov had a lot to do with insufficient contractor oversight and management by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to a new inspector general report.

Released Monday, the Department of Human Services IG report examined the 20 most critical HealthCare.gov-related contracts awarded between 2010 and 2014 and discovered many examples of CMS not adhering to federal requirements or contract terms.

Despite federal requirements, contracting officers and their representatives did not consistently manage and oversee HealthCare.gov contracts, which supported the development of the public-facing website, an internal "data services hub" and other computer systems, according to the report. 

CMS did not ensure contracting officer’s representatives had earned the proper certification for managing large-scale IT contracts, according to the report. 

The report also found that CMS failed to appropriately document the actions it took surrounding contract actions. The lack of supervision contributed to unauthorized costs and delays, according to the IG. 

Contracting personnel may have also crossed an ethical line.

An agency employee who participated in the panel responsible for awarding one of the largest HealthCare.gov contracts to CGI Federal had previously worked as a subcontractor to CGI Federal on separate CMS contract, according to auditors. The audit was completed in response to requests for review from both the department and Congress.

“The problems that consumers experienced raised concerns about the department’s oversight of the contractors involved in the development, implementation and operation of the federal marketplace,” the report stated.