Meet CGI Federal, the Canadian company behind the botched launch of HealthCare.gov
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Either way, it's clear that the site itself isn't well constructed: IT professionals told the Wall Street Journal that in addition to specific pieces not working, the whole thing was "built on a sloppy software foundation," potentially due to the haste with which code was written. Slate described just how difficult it is to coordinate multiple contractors creating different components of a complex Web portal.
Evan Burfield, who founded the relatively small company that worked with CGI to build Recovery.gov, says the problem lies more in a federal procurement apparatus that makes it nearly impossible for an agile newcomer to bid on projects that in the private sector would take much less time and money. Plus, with so many contractors, everyone could technically fulfill the requirements in their statement of work, and the thing can still not work in the end.
"If it had been a $4 million Web site, it would've had higher likelihood of being a success," Burfield says. "It's not just CGI. It's any collection of government contractors, if you put them together, will find a way to put together something complex enough to justify $400 million."