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posted by girlwhowaspluggedout on Friday March 14 2014, @01:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the lowest-bidders-all-the-way-down dept.

skullz writes:

"I've watched the Affordable Care Act's federal and state website roll-outs with trepidation as one botched IT project crashes and burns after another. As more information is coming out about Minnesota's health insurance exchange, lo and behold, poor communication, lack of fundamentals, and bureaucracy seem to be contributing factors.

From NPR's How A Series Of Mistakes Hobbled Minnesota's Health Exchange we learn that the users were the first to actually test the website:

What Minnesotans did not know is they were testing the site. There wasn't time for consumer testing before the site went live. Michael Krigsman, a consultant who specializes in diagnosing and preventing IT project failures, says testing is key. 'That is so screwed up. You can quote me on that,' he says. 'This is one of these things that's so foundational. It's like why do we need to breathe the air?"

Propublica has another article which covers the health insurance exchanges of Minnesota, Massachusetts, Oregon and Maryland - blue states that support the Affordable Care Act.

Having been on projects with shifting scope, compressed timeframes, and arbitrary milestones I feel for the developers who worked on these websites and am a little depressed that we are still doing this in 2014. When will the managers learn? Or at least listen?"

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by GungnirSniper on Friday March 14 2014, @01:53AM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Friday March 14 2014, @01:53AM (#16147) Journal

    Often by law, they have to choose the lowest bidder. In some cases, the second lowest bidder may be an option.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by clone141166 on Friday March 14 2014, @02:04AM

    by clone141166 (59) on Friday March 14 2014, @02:04AM (#16150)

    Then the government should write better, more detailed contracts to ensure that either a) budget IT companies that can't meet the requirements don't bid or b) when the company that wins the contract fails to deliver, the expenses can be recouped from said company.

    Maybe if more IT sweatshops started being sued for failing to deliver on these big, juicy government contracts they might stop bidding on contracts that they can't fulfill. It seems to be becoming like the banking industry where it doesn't matter how badly you screw up, just because you employ a few hundred people you become immune to any kind of serious financial penalties. Bad companies should fail.