Accenture has been named the lead contractor for Obamacare website, replacing CGI Federal, a subsidiary of CGI Group, Reuters reported.
The contract is worth $45 million for the initial phase of the project; the final value of the one-year contract would be about $90 million, as per news reports.
CGI Federal built the website HealthCare.gov in October for Obamacare enrollment. As the traffic to the website increased after millions of Americans barged into the website for shopping for health insurance, the website was plagued by error messages and speed problems.
CGI Federal was awarded the contract in 2011 and is scheduled to end February 28. The contract would not be renewed.
Reuters reports that the technical glitch created a political crisis for the government as it gave an opportunity for the Republican foes to call for the repeal of Obama’s signature healthcare law.
Obama responded to the crisis saying he now wants to overhaul the way the federal government buys technology services. Traditionally federal contracts are awarded to large, established contractors such as CGI.
Accenture is appointed as the lead contractor for the portal and will be responsible for next year’s open enrollment period.
“Accenture will bring deep healthcare industry insight as well as proven experience building large-scale, public-facing websites to continue improving HealthCare.gov,” said David Moskovitz, chief executive of Accenture Federal Services.
The improvements in the website have allowed more than 1.1 million people to shop for and enroll in insurance on HealthCare.gov by the end of 2013, far short of original hopes, Reuters said.
The deadline for signing up for 2014 health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is March 31, meaning Accenture will take over when the website is likely to see a surge in last minute sign-ups. This will be a big challenge for the IT firm.
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