Should US Officials Go After Canadian CGI For Obamacare Site Failure

Written by Kevin Fobbs on October 25, 2013

Anyone who watched the incredible dodge ball performance by Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of the Canadian firm CGI Federal which handled website development had to be furious. The firm wrote the code for the website and appears largely responsible for its volcanic systemic failure. One has to wonder how it was ever selected for building the website when it has a history of similar problems.

America was not only cheated out of hundreds of millions of dollars in the construction, but one has to wonder where are the subpoenas for documentation of its other contracts and projects that CGI has ongoing in the United States. Shouldn’t something so vast warrant more than a casual nod by Obama for his signature legislation?

What is equally troubling is that according to the CGI senior vice president who testified before congress on Thursday, the White House was kept abreast of the possibility that when the website switch was turned on, on October 1st, Millions of Americans would be locked out of it. According to her, the White House knew. So the age old question from Watergate days remains: “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

Now there is mounting support among Democrats in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives to put Obamacare on hold. Democrat senators, Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., are moving for Obamacare to be delayed in full implementation, suggests Fox News

Senator Ted Cruz called for a defunding of Obamacare because it is harmful to America’s families, the economy and jobs. The Democrats in the senate did not budge. Even House Speaker John Boehner asked the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to support a delay just as the president had done for his big business supporters. Obama refused.

There are some very serious questions that need to be asked by not only the Congress but also by elected officials in individual states where CGI Federal has healthcare operations or oversight over healthcare or IT operations. What is clear now and was clear before CGI Federal were selected by officials of Barrack Obama is CGI did not come to the table with a spotless record. Far from it!

According to Fox News, this was not the first time the Canadian company has run into both operational and delivery issues in its healthcare or IT operations. In fact, Fox News found that, “In projects stretching from Canada to Hawaii, CGI Group and its subsidiaries encountered many, many complaints about its performance.” This lack of effectiveness stretches back for years, yet the Obama White House apparently looked the other way and sacrificed the potential security and safety of the American public as well.

There seems to be an arrogance that both CGI Federal officials share with the Obama administration, that truth and responsibility for failed actions is just a dodge and mistruth is a practiced art. The CGI official Cheryl Campbell testified on Thursday that there was no pilot test of its system to ascertain whether it would work or not. That in itself is hubris in believing that if Obama and his HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius believe that it is not needed then millions of Americans should just like it or lump it.

But it is the officials at CGI Federal and its many healthcare and IT operations that should now take their turn in receiving the legal lumps it is earnestly entitled to. In Texas, where it had an IT presence, James Bagnola, a Texas corporate consultant, stressed according to Fox News, that CGI gummed up the works, and he admonished their performance saying, “When they overhauled DOTAX’s IT, “the system was broken all the time.” 

But the Canadian’s ineffectiveness in working on American healthcare and IT systems did not stop there. Again, according to Fox News, CGI subsidiary, CGI Technologies and Solutions, Inc, the Canadian company implementation and software was riddled with problem in its Hawaii tax department overhaul. The company did not complete the work even though the state “paid CGI millions for work it.”

CGI failure was, of course, not new to America’s friends to the north. In Canada, CGI also remained as consistent as it has been in rolling out the massive Obamacare failure. Due diligence on behalf of the American people seemed to be a meaningless annoyance, when all Obama or his HHS Secretary had to do was look up CGI’s failure in Canada.

According to the Washington Post, CGI Federal has had a checkered past of previous failure in working on Canadian healthcare systems. The Post revealed that CGI’s “Canadian performance on Ontario, Canada’s health-care medical registry was so poor that officials ditched the $46.2 million contract after three years.”

There seems to be an ominous pattern and practice occurring in the performance of CGI and its ability to create quality IT work on behalf of the American people. It seems crystal clear that if Obama has no concern for the welfare of the American people then why should CGI officials? After all a payday is a payday, and until state attorney generals and congress initiate investigations, issues subpoenas for its records, it could become the biggest heist of American healthcare security and records in the history of the nation.

Wake up and ask your congressional representatives and state lawmakers to seriously look into CGI operations to make certain that your healthcare records and other sensitive information are not being compromised.

Obama may not care about the rocky roll out or holding CGI Federal and its officials responsible, but you can demand that congress and state elected officials, including the state attorney general and governor, do so. They can take the lead or face 2014 with a pink slip. That is your power … Use it!

Image: Courtesy of

Kevin Fobbs
Kevin Fobbs has more than 35 years of wide-ranging experience as a community and tenant organizer, Legal Services outreach program director, public relations consultant, business executive, gubernatorial and presidential appointee, political advisor, widely published writer, and national lecturer. Kevin is co-chair and co-founder of AC-3 (American-Canadian Conservative Coalition) that focuses on issues on both sides of the border between the two countries.