“There’s an app for that” may be a slogan, but it’s no joke. You can do almost anything online these days. The federal government even promised us that purchasing health care online would be as easy as booking a flight. But last October, when healthcare.gov’s numerous technical problems prevented thousands of Americans from getting insurance, one thing became clear—outsourcing government IT services is no laughing matter.
In my new piece at Huffington Post, I write more on the problems with healthcare.gov and explore the National Employment Law Project’s recent findings on how outsourcing IT led to shameless failures in delivering unemployment benefits to families in need.
I may not know much about Candy Crush or Snapchat, but I do know how important insurance is to a person’s health and financial security. The federal government awarded a multi-million dollar contract to CGI Federal to build healthcare.gov back in 2011. CGI failed so badly that the Obama Administration recently announced they are booting the contractor in favor of Accenture. (Let’s hope the new contract includes the oversight and accountability that was so sorely lacking with CGI.)
Healthcare.gov is just one example of IT outsourcing gone wrong. But I have hope that it will prove a teachable moment. Look at California Gov. Jerry Brown, whose new budget proposal calls for insourcing technical work, both to build capacity and ultimately save taxpayer dollars. You can find my post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donald-cohen/the-glitches-of-outsourcing_b_4648043.html, and as they say on something my kids call Facebook, please “like and share.”