GOP to IRS: Why hire the firm that botched HealthCare.gov?

A Republican lawmaker is asking the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) why it hired a contractor to help with ObamaCare that was previously fired for its shoddy work on HealthCare.gov.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), who leads the Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight, called on the IRS Friday to explain how CGI Federal was chosen and what work the company will perform.


"The American people should know why the IRS spent millions of taxpayer dollars to hire the same company responsible for the botched HealthCare.gov rollout," Roskam said in a written statement.

"From an agency clamoring for more funding, this isn’t a confidence-inspiring use of resources," he said.

CGI Federal was responsible for constructing the back end of HealthCare.gov. The site debuted with massive technical problems in the fall of 2013 that threatened to ruin the healthcare law's first enrollment period.

In a series of congressional hearings, the company was excoriated by lawmakers.

The Obama administration decided to jettison its contract with CGI Federal in January of last year. Several states followed.

Roskam's letter follows outrage from the conservative media.

The agency is preparing for the chaos of the first tax season in which Americans will have to report their insurance status.

The contract is reportedly worth $4.46 million and expires on Aug. 15.

In his letter, Roskam asked IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to provide a series of documents describing the CGI Federal contract, as well as all communications leading up to the decision to hire the firm.

In a statement to The Hill, the IRS said it "closely monitors all of our work involving the health care initiative, including contractors."

"The IRS has worked with CGI Federal going back several years. They were part of a multi-year award made in 2011, and a subsequent five-year competitive task order was issued in August 2013," the agency added.

"The contract covers several things, including some projects relating to ACA. One of those involves helping integrate various work projects. It is important to note this contractor does not run or operate IRS.gov or the ACA web pages on the site.

"The IRS also notes that the awarding of contracts and decisions to extend contracts is based on documented facts and federal procurement rules," the agency continued. "We follow these federal acquisition requirements."

This story was updated at 6:09 p.m.