HealthCare.gov contractor CGI warned the Obama administration that the website might not be ready just one month before launch, CNN reported Tuesday night.
CNN obtained a memo from CGI, the main contractor that built HealthCare.gov, informing administration officials that the site wasn’t finished and wouldn’t be by Oct. 1, but Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials claimed again just Monday that they had no knowledge of the problems.
A whole slew of problems were named in the Sept. 6 memo sent to CMS officials, including that “hub services are intermittently unavailable” –a key indicator that the site could face outages.
Testing timeframes were “not adequate to complete full functional, system, and integration testing activities,” according to the document, and the problems would have “significant” impact on the site, according to CNN.
For the highest priority element the report describes, there was “not enough time in schedule to conduct adequate performance testing.”
And the problems were just a matter of time. For a “severe” and “high priority” problem, CGI warned that the company “does not have access to necessary tools to manage envs [environments] in test, imp, and prod,” three stages of site development where the page is tested, improved and produced.
“Specifically (1) we don’t have access to central log collection / view (2) we don’t have access to monitoring tools,” the documents reads. “We have repeatedly asked CMS and URS but have not been granted this access.”
CMS head Marilyn Tavenner testified to the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday that her department was not aware of the problems, but the memo from the contractor suggests otherwise.
“We had tested the website and we were comfortable with its performance,” Tavenner told Congress on Monday. “The volume issues and the creation of account issues was not anticipated and obviously took us by surprise. And did not show up in testing.”
The report details problems with the developing website dating to August 2013, when Tavenner told Congress that “CMS is ready for Oct. 1.”