Saturday, January 4, 2014

And About That Contractor Screening Process…..

‘Amid the holiday season craziness, The Washington Post published an in-depth account of how a subsidiary of Canadian IT giant CGI Group won the contract to lead the design and testing of the website.

The article debunked rumors that cronyism motivated the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) September 2011 decision to award CGI Federal the $93.7 million contract. Instead, the Post found that the main culprit was CMS, which by its own admission “dropped the ball” on evaluating the company’s background.

Specifically, what CMS contracting officials overlooked and/or downplayed was that more than 100 of CGI’s employees came from Virginia-based IT company American Management Systems (AMS), which CGI acquired in 2004. According to the Post, AMS had mishandled at least 20 government IT projects, including one particularly well-publicized fiasco involving the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s $36 million overhaul of its recordkeeping system.

AMS’s questionable past performance on government contracts should have set off alarms in 2007, when CMS awarded CGI and 15 other companies an umbrella contract allowing them to bid on future CMS projects. In fact, a former CMS official told the Post that AMS’s track record “could well have knocked [CGI Federal] out of the competition, and probably should have.”’

‘The part of the Post story that really rankled the Project On Government Oversight is contained in this passage:

While it is unclear whether agency officials examined the AMS track record, former CMS officials said it probably would not have made much difference, because past performance has long been an overlooked component of federal contracting.’

- Debacle Reveals Flaws in Contractor Screening,, 01/03/2013

Link to the entire article appears below:


H/T: Crony Chronicles

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