Fool me again, please

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

In this new technological age it’s not uncommon to be fooled by a company claiming to have all the answers only to discover you’ve been had. But to reward such a poor performance with new contracts goes well beyond common reasoning. One would think the folks at HHS would be the first to be screaming at the top of their lungs but instead they were one of the first to reward CGI with more work.

So just who makes the rules on how government contracts are awarded and why would a firm like CGI not be blacklisted after this recent embarrassment?

According to Avik Roy, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, CGI has no real skill sets and many of the projects they’ve worked on have failed. Well that makes perfect sense. Leave it to our government to spend millions on contracts with companies who have no idea what they are doing.

Mr. Roy went on to say that the failure came as no surprise when considering the bureaucratic way that contracts are awarded. The procurement process requires companies to jump through so many hoops, the skill sets developed by companies like CGI are more about understanding how to win the contracts by meeting the regulatory standards.

Our government has created such a convoluted system it precludes them from hiring a couple young, skilled tech students fresh out of college and give them the opportunity to do something transformational for the country. They have to spend millions of dollars, with companies destined to fail, who send the work out of the country and defend their actions in a manner insulting to the American public.

At the end of the day we’re getting exactly what we’ve asked for. Until we demand better from our government, they will continue to take more of our hard earned money and waste it on pie in the sky promises they know up front they can’t deliver. Years ago it was the $600 hammer and $1,000 toilet seat. Today it’s a nearly $300 million website that a couple interns could have built in a few short weeks in exchange for course credit.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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