OIG hits HealthCare.gov on oversight

OIG hits HealthCare.gov on oversight

New report details lax management of contractors, missed deadlines, process in disarray

In a review of 20 of 62 contracts awarded for the development, implementation and operation of HealthCare.gov, the HHS Office of the Inspector General found the supervision of contractors on the job to be sorely lacking.

HealthCare.gov opened for business on Oct. 1, 2013. It was plagued with website issues from Day 1. The report OIG released this week offers details of the lackaidaisical contract oversight – and often the lack of supervision altogether.

Contracting officers and contracting officer’s representatives did not always manage and oversee contractor performance as required by federal requirements and contract terms, according to OIG.

Moreover, OIG found that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not always comply with federal regulations regarding designation and certification requirements for contracting officer’s representatives. Also, contracting records did not always include all critical contract deliverables and other management and oversight documentation. OIG concluded there were consequences to slack oversight:

  • Contractor delays and performance issues were not always identified,
  • A contractor incurred unauthorized costs that increased the cost of the contract
  • Contracting officers in all government agencies did not have access to contractor past-performance evaluations when making contract awards,
  • Critical deliverables and management decisions were not properly documented.

In addition, the HHS Acquisition Regulation and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch may not have been complied with in connection with an employee who served as a member of the technical evaluation panel for one contract, OIG wrote in its report.

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