Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sad songs in the key of incompetence

Give us a break. You're the contractor, you bid on the project, you knew the due date, and now you are complaining you didn't have time to finish?
In written testimony submitted before the hearing, CGI, the main contractor building the Web site, took partial blame for some of the site’s defects. But the company also pointed the finger at a federal agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which it said had ultimate responsibility for ensuring the project’s success.
Yeah. They gave you the contract. With the due date. So next move: blame the other contractors (drum roll please):
CGI also blamed another contractor, Quality Software Services, Inc. (QSSI), a subsidiary of Optum based in Columbia, Md., for building the component that caused the initial bottleneck. QSSI has denied sole culpability for that part’s failure.
In response to questions at the hearing, CGI Vice President Cheryl Campbell said that no end-to-end testing of HealthCare.gov occurred until the last two weeks of September.
 “I don’t have the results,” she said of the testing. She referred lawmakers CMS for that information.
In other words, you didn't proof read or spell check.
Now say (like my more disreputable students) if only we had more time.

Andrew Slavitt, an executive vice president of Optum, said the testing did not occur “until the last few days.” He said that “ideally, integrated testing would have occurred well before that date.”
Pressed on how long in advance of the launch such testing should be done, Slavitt replied, “Months would be nice.”
Campbell concurred. Asked when her company would have recommended starting the testing for HealthCare.gov, she said, “We would have loved to have had months.”
But a few weeks ago, you told your superiors that everything was golden and you had it under control. Or wait, did they fail to ask you the exact question using the exact right words?

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) complained that the contractors raised unrealistic expectations about the Web site’s performance when they testified before the committee last month.
“You all came here and told us . . . it was good to go,” he said. “And it wasn’t.”
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Calif.), noted that Campbell had not raised any red flags during her previous testimony.
“Did you ever tell this committee more testing was needed in order to make this work?” she asked.
“I don’t think I was asked that question,” Campbell replied.
Was there anything you might have mentioned a few weeks ago?
Campbell later said that the system did crash during end-to-end testing. She said there were 200 failures during that testing.
Slavitt told the committee that “there were risks that we saw” in going ahead with the Oct. 1 launch, “and we passed those along, all along the way.”
A few minutes later, Slavitt said that “we did not make a recommendation” on whether to go live. “We simply made everyone aware of the risks that we saw.”
During the questioning, lawmakers got a partial price tag for HealthCare.gov, and it was significantly higher than previous estimates. A Government Accountability Office report estimated in June that CGI Federal had received $70 million for its work on the Web site and QSSI had received $55 million to create the data hub.
So you bid on a contract you are not competent to complete, and now you blame the client and other contractors for your failure. Nice. But what did you say a few weeks ago?
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) issued a harsh admonition to those vendors who testified before the committee a few weeks before the Web site’s launch and who suggested then, she said, that “HHS was doing an excellent job of testing the product.”
“Three weeks later, here we are,” she said. “We need to hear today exactly what they’re doing to fix these issues.”
Of course there is the due date. There it was on the syllabus all along. But then...
In response to questions from Upton, Campbell, the senior vice president at CGI Federal, said it was not her company’s decision to make on whether the Web site should have gone live on Oct. 1. “It was CMS’s decision,” she said. Asked whether the firm recommended against going live, she said, “It was not our position to do so.”
Oct. 1 was always the date when your product had to go live. You knew it. Everyone knew it. You fucked up. When this happens with my students, usually, they own it, and take responsibility. You? You are just going to collect your paycheck and point giant fingers of blame elsewhere.

What is the polite way of saying 'fuck you'? Oh fuck it---fuck you.

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