I am shocked, shocked! to learn that political cronyism was involved in the development of the Healthcare.gov web site:
The biggest problem with Healthcare.gov seems simple enough: It was built by people who are apparently far more familiar with government cronyism than they are with IT.
That’s one of the insights that can be gleaned from the work done by the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that focuses on government transparency. In a report filed this past week, the group examined why the system broke as horribly as it did: The contracts awarded to those who built it were, by and large, existing government contractors with “deep political pockets.”
Has no one ever heard of a qualified bidders list? I’ve never heard of a federal project of any sort by any administration that didn’t limit the bidders to those on an already-restricted list of qualified bidders.
Here’s how it works, kiddies. The lowest bidder from the list of qualified vendors is selected. Not the most competent or even the lowest bidder. The lowest qualified bidder. So, for example, Booz Allen was practically guaranteed to be involved. You remember Booz Allen? They’re the guys who hired Edward Snowden and who knows how many other dubiously qualified and certainly insecure folks that they farmed out to the federal government for beaucoups bucks. How Booz Allen continues to be an approved vendor is a puzzlement.
How to you get to be an approved vendor? Connections. How do you get connections? Lobbyists help. How do you get lobbyists? Money. The return on investment on hiring lobbyists is fantastic. A half billion dollars is one heckuva software development project.
Read and weep at the article linked above on the connections of the various companies involved in this particular development. If your project is going to be built by the federal government, that’s how it will inevitably be built.