Google and Oracle employees called in to fix Obamacare site

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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As the Obama administration races to meet its Nov. 30 deadline,  it has called in engineers from companies such as Google and Oracle to help fix its site.

Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told reporters on Thursday that Michael Dickerson, a site-reliability engineer at Google, and Greg Gershman, Director of Innovation for mobile app maker Mobomo, were among the talent recruited by the administration.

Bataille told reporters Gershman is working with CGI Group, and Dickerson is working with UnitedHealth Group’s Quality Software Services (QSSI).

“They are working through the analytics of what happens on the site to prioritize what needs to be fixed,” said Bataille.

CGI Group is the parent company of CGI Federal, one of the politically connected federal contractors behind the development of the federal online healthcare exchange.

“The UnitedHealth unit, QSSI, built a service called the ‘data services hub’ that collects information about customers from the Internal Revenue Service and other,” reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

Jeffrey Zients, President Barack Obama’s incoming chief economic adviser, was also brought on to advise CMS.

CMS reportedly acted as a “systems integrator” — the central coordinator for the project. Such a role is generally reserved for technically adept companies such as IBM.

On Oct. 20, HHS officials promoted a “tech surge,” with the Obama administration calling in help from both inside and outside of the federal government, as part of its strategy to fix the site.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison confirmed to an audience on Thursday that his company was also recruited to help fix the administration’s mess.

“As an information technology company we are doing everything we can to help,” he said.

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