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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Morning Examiner: Something very strange going on behind Healthcare.gov -- By Mark Tapscott, The Washington Examiner

Photo - Staff members from the Champaign Urbana Public Health District offices in Champaign, Ill., work with people trying to sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. The state of Illinois website set up to let people shop for health insurance, shown at right, worked fine, office workers said, but the federal website wasn't working for anyone who tried it Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/David Mercer) (text from within article)

Yes, we can!

So, if you were picking the IT firm to design Healthcare.gov, you would spare no effort to make sure every potential bidder knew about the opportunity, that the integrity of the bid selection process was beyond question, and that the company most likely to create the best possible site got the award, right?

But that's not what happened with Healthcare.gov. Officials with both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of the Canadian IT firm that won the $93 million contract, are instead acting like they've got something to hide.

Several weeks ago, Washington Examiner senior investigative reporter Richard Pollock found that two federal contract databases listed CGI as the lone bidder for the Healthcare.gov.

No, they won't!

So, Pollock started asking questions at CGI and HHS. Nobody would talk on the record, but insisted "on background" that as many as four bidders sought the contract before it was awarded to the Canadian firm's U.S. subsidiary.

When Pollock pressed for documentation of the multiple bidders, including names of the companies involved, neither CGI nor HHS produced it. Tasha Bradley, an HHS spokesman, even claimed that "off the record, Richard, you will need to FOIA us for that information."

Then things really got strange yesterday when Bradley said this:

"Off the record, we have gotten a number of questions about your report. We are currently giving those reporters the same information that I provided to you and saying, on the record, that your reporting was incorrect."

Did you catch that? HHS refuses to document "on background" its claim there were four bidders, but goes "on the record" with other news organizations to trash the Examiner for reporting that the only available official documents found to date say there was only one bidder.

Just another day in "the most transparent administration in history," right?

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