CGI Federal, the Canadian company behind HealthCare.gov, was originally awarded the $93 million contract to build the website in September 2011. The CGI contract is now worth $293 million, and the firm has come under intense scrutiny due to the technological failings of the health care website. CGI acquired American Management Systems (or, AMS) for $858 million in March 2004. AMS was a government consulting firm, advising on financial, healthcare, and communications. Although the company had several high points, prior to being acquired, issues arose from a contract with the State of Mississippi that bears resemblance to the issues that surrounded Healthcare.gov.
Speaking to the Washington Post, a former CGI employee who was involved in the contracting process connected the dots between CGI and Obamacare to AMS and Mississippi. “Should CMS have recognized that, ‘Okay, here’s CGI Federal. It’s a new company, but, oh, my God, it looks a lot like the AMS from yesterday,’” the official asked. “Yes. I would consider that dropping the ball.’’
Another official said that the track-record of AMS, and since it had acquired AMS, CGI, could have taken the company out of the running for the website, “and probably should have.” Mississippi State Tax Commission approached AMS to create a tax website for the state. The state ended the contract, and began the lawsuit when the promised results did not materialize. In 1999, when Mississippi canceled the $11.2 million contract, $6 million had been paid. In 2000, a judge awarded $474.5 million to Mississippi in actual and punitive damages resulting from AMS.