Taking Back Our Stolen History
Report: Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is executive at Company that built No-Bid Obamacare Website
Report: Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is executive at Company that built No-Bid Obamacare Website

Report: Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is executive at Company that built No-Bid Obamacare Website

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 Healthcare.gov. 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 Healthcare.gov 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. (Daily Caller)

Months after Judicial Watch exposed massive security risks with the government’s healthcare.gov website, a federal audit reveals that the public employees responsible for overseeing the disastrous Obamacare site were not properly trained, failed to keep adequate records and stood by as delays mounted to millions over the original contract costs.

We’re talking an astounding $600 million in contracts to build the website for the president’s signature healthcare law. The government employees tasked with supervising the colossal project actually helped private contractors fleece American taxpayers, according to an investigation conducted by the Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General (IG). Most of the derelict employees work at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which manages federal healthcare programs including Obamacare. The IG determined there were widespread failures and poor oversight by CMS, which functions under HHS.

The investigation focused on nearly two dozen contracts considered to be most important to the operation of the website, which was supposed to create a marketplace that serves as a one-stop shop for health insurance. Instead, it’s had a multitude of problems that have been well-documented in the media. The deals to develop this federal insurance marketplace went mostly to eight politically connected companies that raked in north of $600 million, the IG’s report says. “As of March 31, 2014, CMS had identified 62 contracts that it had awarded to 35 different contractors to develop, implement, and operate the Federal marketplace,” the report states.

That means there were a lot of taxpayer dollars floating around for this cause. You’d think the government would select its finest employees to oversee the deals. Instead, CMS violated federal rules by assigning unqualified employees to oversee contracts worth more than $10 million, according to the audit. In one case an unqualified agency employee, who didn’t even have lower-level certification to supervise contracts over $25,000, oversaw a $130 million deal for more than a year. In a separate case documented by the IG, an unauthorized CMS worker allowed an eye-popping $28 million cost overrun that wasn’t even identified until the agency finally assigned a more knowledgeable staffer to take over the deal.

These atrocious examples are probably not the half of it because CMS couldn’t even provide investigators with routine documents that should have been readily available. That means there’s no telling the true magnitude of the damage. As for accountability, there appears to be none as is often the case in government. The Obama officials—former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former CMS head Marilyn Tavenner—in charge of this boondoggle are both gone and it’s highly unlikely either will face any consequences.

The HHS watchdog report only confirms the fraud and corruption that has plagued the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system. Back in 2013 Judicial Watch reported that healthcare.gov was designed by a team made up entirely of Obama minions, including the design manager for the president’s 2008 campaign and the White House Deputy Director of New Media. The expert team of Obama pals promised to deliver a bilingual website that would be the healthcare law’s centerpiece and serve as an essential tool that would guide millions of Americans through the rigorous process of choosing insurance.

Despite huge failures, the government officials in charge of Obamacare’s tumultuous implementation and beleaguered health exchange website quietly received tens of thousands of dollars in performance bonuses and other taxpayer-funded perks. In fact, last year JW obtained records documenting that enraging reward system. JW has also exposed incriminating HHS records detailing a massive, taxpayer-funded multi-media campaign designed to promote Obamacare. A few years ago JW reported on a controversial Obamacare initiative that gives “community-based organizations” $1 billion to devise “compelling new ideas” to deliver better services to those “with the highest health care needs” (source)

When CGI turned out to be a disaster, the Obama administration turned to Accenture, an Irish consulting contractor, to take rescue the Obamacare website. Months before, Accenture was accused of being an “immediate risk of future fraud” at the Post Office.

It had no experience with federal health care systems, but plenty of experience cashing government checks. Since 2000, Accenture has had $10 billion in federal contracts; less than half of 1 percent involved federal health care.

While it seems to be fine working in the private sector – where the money its clients spend actually matters — it had history of botching government work in Democrat priority areas like food stamps and voter registration systems – costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

That troubled history is hidden in plain sight in a remarkably soft-pedaled report in the Washington Post passed along by Rat Nation.

In weirdly restrained language, and under the mollycoddling headline “Accenture, hired to help fix Healthcare.gov, has had a series of stumbles,” the Post reported Accenture’s history of:

  • Fouling up North Carolina’s food stamp program to the point where the Obama administration threatened to withhold funding for it  (think about that for a second – how bad does it have to be for the Obama administration to withhold food stamp funding?);
  • Losing contracts with the Pentagon and four states to develop online voting or voter-registration systems because of flawed software and poor security (for the criminal candy store of Healthcare.gov, poor security might be a problem);
  • Being called a giant liar by the Postal Service’s Inspector General, which reported in an audit on June 19 that Accenture had “demonstrated an absence of business ethics” and recommended canceling $200 million in contracts with the company.

“The Postal Service should consider Accenture for suspension or debarment and review existing contracts to determine whether the contracts warrant termination. This action would protect the Postal Service’s financial interest from unethical, dishonest, or otherwise irresponsible supplier practices.”

The company, the inspector general wrote, presented “immediate risk of future fraud and abuse” at the Post Office.

(USPS officials dismissed the recommendation out of hand two days after it was submitted because its findings were “unwarranted,” according to Part & Parcel, which covers mail and express delivery issues. )

So this is Obamacare’s cyber savior: a company branded “unethical” and “dishonest,” according to the Post Office Inspector General; a company with a history riddled with failure in large, public computer systems; a company with no experience in federal health programs.

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