Today’s House Oversight Committee Hearing on the problems facing Healthcare.gov highlight the continuing challenges with Healthcare.gov and also with federal IT acquisition and deployment more generally. If the problems of Healthcare.gov lead to improved IT acquisition, then there is a bright side to what has otherwise been a difficult situation.
Acquiring and deploying information technology is difficult, and the implementation of a system as complex as Healthcare.gov is not easy. There are literally dozens of feeder systems fueling the site, and an equal number of contractors and subcontractors adding to the complexity.
These challenges demonstrate that we need to continue to think creatively about ways to improve federal IT acquisition. It’s critical that we add flexibility to what is a cumbersome process, keeping in mind that federal acquisition is a rules-based process designed to manage the inherent risk associated with it.
Ideas like those that have been proposed by Chairman Issa in his Federal IT Acquisition Reform legislation would go a long way to improving the process. SIIA supports Chairman Issa’s efforts to increase the authority of federal CIOs, establish acquisition centers of excellence and make sure our acquisition personnel are properly trained.
Since the launch of the Obama Administration’s 25 Point Plan over 3 years ago, we have made significant progress in focusing attention on this issue but more work is needed.”
SIIA will hold an event next Monday, November 18th, featuring House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). “Driving Government Innovation” will provide insight on how technology will make the government more efficient, effective, open and transparent.
In addition to Rep. Issa, the event will feature a panel discussion with industry experts:
- Doug Bourgeois, VP, Services and Solutions, VMware
- Mark Forman, Founder, Government Transaction Services and former OMB Administrator for E-Gov
- John Landwehr, VP, Digital Government Solutions, Adobe
- Dan Chenok, Executive Director, IBM Center for the Business of Government
Michael Hettinger is VP for the Public Sector Innovation Group (PSIG) at SIIA. Follow his PSIG tweets at @SIIAPSIG. Sign up for the Public Sector Innovation Roundup email newsletter for weekly updates.