Oversight documents: Contractor kicks blame back to HHS

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released documents late Tuesday from one of the primary ObamaCare contractors that show the company warned a key government agency that there wasn’t adequate time to test the system before going live.

According to the documents, employees at CGI Federal said in a status report that “due to the compressed schedule, there is not enough time built in to allow for adequate performance testing.”

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In addition to noting some specific technical issues, the documents, sent to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Sept. 6, also said the pre-launch timeframe was not “adequate to complete full functional, system, and integration testing activities.”

The system went live on Oct. 1 and has been plagued by tech issues ever since.

The CGI documents were released late Tuesday just hours before Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify on the failures of the ObamaCare website in front of a congressional panel.

A spokesperson representing Oversight Democrats did not return a request for comment.

Sebelius and the contractors agree that they would have liked more time to work on the site, and that not enough time was allotted for testing, but have otherwise taken turns blaming each other for the site’s failures.

In her testimony on Wednesday, Sebelius will blame “a “subset” of contractors who “have not met expectations” for the website’s problems in her opening statement.


She’ll also tell the panel that CMS has successfully used private contractors to administer aspects of Medicare in the past, but that some failed in handling the ObamaCare website.

Committee members last week heard testimony from representatives of four of the largest contractors tasked with building the website, including CGI.

The contractors denied responsibility for the system's problems, and charged that HHS had failed to effectively coordinate the project. They also said that they didn’t have enough time to properly test the site.


"Our portion of the application worked as designed," said Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president with CGI Federal. "The end-to-end testing was the responsibility of [HHS]."


Campbell insisted it wasn’t her company’s position “to tell our client to go live or not go live.” 


Sebelius has said that delaying the Oct. 1 launch date was never an option.