Shocking no bid contract-Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is executive at company

Discussion in 'Politics' started by John_Wensink, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.

    Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

    Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

    Toni Townes ’85 is a onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office and previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa. Her decision to return to work, as an African-American woman, after six years of raising kids was applauded by a Princeton alumni publication in 1998

    George Schindler, the president for U.S. and Canada of the Canadian-based CGI Group, CGI Federal’s parent company, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare website contract.

    As reported by the Washington Examiner in early October, the Department of Health and Human Services reviewed only CGI’s bid for the Obamacare account. CGI was one of 16 companies qualified under the Bush administration to provide certain tech services to the federal government. A senior vice president for the company testified this week before The House Committee on Energy and Commerce that four companies submitted bids, but did not name those companies or explain why only CGI’s bid was considered.

    On the government end, construction of the disastrous website was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of longtime failed website-builder Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services.

    Update: The Daily Caller repeatedly contacted CGI Federal for comment. After publication of this article, the company responded that there would be “nothing coming out of CGI for the record or otherwise today.” The company did however insist that The Daily Caller include a reference to vice president Cheryl Campbell’s House testimony. This has been included as a courtesy to the company.

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    First sentence says they company "earned" the contract. How the heck do you earn something when you are the only proposal that is considered? Instead of "earned" it sounds more like a "gift". My first job after my Masters degree was as a contractor to the USAF and in my short time there (< 2 years) we had to bid EVERY contract and every project was competitive bid. There was no sole sourcing ever. And the fact that this was GIVEN to a company who has botched it would be all the more reason to never hire them again based on performance. Last, who on the government side was actually overseeing the work on this pathetic excuse of a system? He/she should be put out to pasture/fired. Then again, we never see repercussions for inept government employees. Based on tenure they will probably be promoted to a higher grade level at some point. What needs to occur is a BIG investigation into how this has been such a dismal failure from a development/implementation perspective rather than Odumbo just opening up the checkbook for this Zionts guy to spend as much $$$$ as he wants indefinitely to try to fix it. Where is the accountability?
  3. This kind of thing happens from the city level all the way up the federal government level. No bid federal contracts have been given out for large projects before, by dems and reps. In the city where I live a few years ago a software co. received a no bid contract, companies gave their sales pitch and one was picked but there wasn't any bidding. Like the gov. healthcare site it too was a fail and that was with local reps making the decision. Everything isn't democrat or republican, sometimes it's just people. There are also many horror stories about giving a contract to the lowest bidder.
  4. I'm actually surprised the contract didn't go to some major campaign donor, like the Solyndra and other Department of Enrgy slush fund deals. After all, it is the Chicago way.

    The Michele connection could just be a coincidence, ok doubtful I know but possible, or a major scandal. Too early to tell now, but we know two things for sure (1) the republicans will be terrified to even raise the issue because they know they will be called racist by possibly the most racist administration in modern history, and (2) the mainstream media will have zero interest in following up on it.


    But a project this large should NEVER have gone to someone without a competitive bid process. That's asinine as it basically gives the company a blank check. Even if they tossed out a number on what it would cost they can make all kinds of excuses on why they need more $$$ along the way (changes to specs, added functionality, complications unanticipated, etc.). And now we see the disastrous results ... which is leading to even more $$$$ being thrown at trying to fix an un-fixable system. All these sub-contractors who say their code is fine and that the problems are the result of interfacing all the pieces are clearly garbage companies. The average person doesn't have a clue about how systems are developed but testing the pieces when multiple contractors are involved is a part of the entire development process. I built artificial intelligence systems back in the 80's from the midwest with a west coast AI company coding also and another 3rd party company did additional work. We talked on the phone constantly ... we sent copies of our code to any/all parties doing joint development ... we all tested it. Then again we all had to bid on the project. Sebellius & Co. should be grilled about (1) why sole source (2) lack of oversight during development (3) incompetent coding. And who signed off and allowed these contractors to be paid?


    Yeah, mainsrteam liberal media will say how great it is that much of this will (supposedly) be fixed by the end of November.

    Sebellius will duck any tough questions ....

    and screw any accusations of being racist. If it's a crappy, non-functional, buggy system then they need to be called out. Enough of this affirmative action type nonsense that we live with from college admissions to contracts being awarded .... hire the BEST company (or admit the most deserving students).
  7. I'm not arguing just pointing out this happens in governments/private business and isn't a democrat or republican thing.
  8. gwb-trading


    All 15 of the other federal government contractors on the allowed vendor list would have been far better selections as the lead on the project. CGI Federal can not point to a single successful web implementation. I always thought there was something odd about their selection for the ACA website - it's like they chose the least qualified vendor in a no bid process.

    Well at least now CGI has been given the boot. Jeffrey Zients is the new boss in charge of fixing the mess, and Quality Software Services Inc. — owned by a unit of UnitedHealth Group is the new lead vendor. QSSI has a long history of successful healthcare website implementations, but it will take a heck of an effort to fix the website in a short period of time.
  9. Max E.

    Max E.

    What blows my mind is this stock seems to have taken no substantial hit as a result of this fiasco, you would have to think that this is one of the worst things that can happen to your company from a marketing standpoint.

    I mean with everyone knowing that CGI fucked up obamacare site this badly and also fucked up the canadian gun registry, Aside from the no bid government contracts they seem adept at securing, who in their right mind would do business with them again?
  10. piezoe


    Their parent company certainly can. And I think they can as well. Read the Washington post article I gave the link to if you want correct information on this company. I'm not defending CGI -- I have no comment with regard to them. I am making a plea for truth and accuracy. There is a reason, according to the Post, why they were given the lead on the project. A reason other than political patronage. That the software they had overall responsibility for doesn't work is not in question.
    #10     Oct 27, 2013