The Washington Post

QSSI to stay on as’s general contractor

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg) (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The Obama administration has decided to retain Quality Software Services Inc. as its general contractor for, even as it has hired a new contractor to do most of the work on the Web site.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Optum/QSSI and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said they would keep working together to ensure the online federal health insurance marketplace works well for consumers. On Saturday, CMS signed a contract with the global consulting firm Accenture to serve as the site's primary contractor in the coming year.

QSSI will receive $43 million for the contract, according to an administration official who asked not be identified in order to discuss the financial agreement, and is expected to run through October 31.

The Health and Human Services Department decided to make QSSI, which built's data hub, the site's general contractor on Oct. 25 after White House official Jeffrey Zients concluded the project needed a single firm to coordinate its repair work.

"Optum/QSSI, which stepped up in October to serve as our general contractor, has been integral in fixing," HHS Secretary Sebelius said in a statement.

Andy Slavitt, Optum's group executive vice president, said his company was "pleased to support CMS in an advisory capacity as the next phase of this work begins."

In September 2011 CMS had hired the Montreal-based CGI Federal as the site’s primary contractor, writing most of the code for the system. After CMS officials determined there was a lack of coordination between the many contractors working on the site, they put QSSI in charge of the overall project.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.



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