But major snags are nothing new when it comes to Web rollouts for the federal government. In 2011, an overhauled USAJobs site experienced a failure rate of 86 percent as the system crashed repeatedly, blocked visitors and failed to perform useful searches.
That time around, the bugs persisted for weeks before finally waning.
Many Web-development experts have said the HealthCare.gov problems underscore flawed federal IT policies, according to a recent Washington Post report. Analysts contend that most agencies have a shortage of technical staff and that they hire firms more adept at landing contracts in a complicated procurement system than creating user-friendly products.
Obama on Monday expressed anger with the site’s defects, promising during a speech in the White House Rose Garden that “they are being fixed.” He said government officials are doing “everything we can possibly do” to repair the site, including around-the-clock work from “some of the best IT talent in the country.”
A congressional committee has scheduled a hearing to examine the HealthCare.gov bugs on Oct. 30, with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and several contractors who developed the site slated to testify before the panel.