by Robert Maynard
The recent Newsweek article on the Vermont Health Connect fiasco portrayed Vermont’s political leadership as “a bunch of unsophisticated local yokels who were taken for a ride by an unscrupulous global contractor,” according to Seven Days. Just how bad they/we got “taken for a ride” is someting that Vermont’s GOP leaderhip is trying to determine, reports Vermont Digger:
Republican leaders from both chambers of the Legislature are calling for a federal investigation into allegations that technology firm CGI defrauded the state.
In a letter sent Wednesday to U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin, the lawmakers requested that his office investigate “whistleblower allegations” regarding a potentially “fraudulent software demonstration” in July.
The Seven Days article highlights questions raised about how factual the Newsweek article was, but Newweek is standing by their story and is confident of their facts. It seems that the GOP leadership agrees with them. The question is whether Vermonts Democratic political leaders are simply “a bunch of unsophisticated local yokels who were taken for a ride.” While the GOP insists on getting an investigation into possible fraud, it might be a good idea to investigate possible cronyism, which enabled that fraud. The Obamacare website was set up by the same contractor, apparenty they got a no-bid contract. Political connections may have had something to do with that:
But who exactly is CGI and how do they relate to the U.S. Federal Government?
CGI owns another company called Silver Oak Solutions (SOS) which specializes in business construction platforms which take advantage of large government contracts. Seemingly innocuous until you look into what SOS controls under their proprietary development.
Through the development of its own proprietary Spend Management offerings called PRISM®, [SOS] grew from under $1 million in revenue in 1999 to over $23 million in 2005. During this period, Silver Oak Solutions emerged as the pioneer and clear market leader in the government / public sector, which represents a $100 billion total market opportunity. (link)
“PRISM®” might be familiar to you because of NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden. This UK Guardian article is from July 2013 and was one of the first to reveal the NSA super-secret cyber spying program on Americans.
So, CGI seems to have used its close ties to a Democratic Administration in Washington D.C. to get the bid to set up the national Obamacare website. Vermont’s Democratic leaders often brag about leading the way on national health care reform. So which is it, are they “a bunch of unsophisticated local yokels who were taken for a ride,” or are they sophisticated political visionaries who are leading the way for national reform? If the latter is the case is the case, were they really taken for a ride or were they helping with the steering in taking the rest of us for a ride? If the former is the case, are they really sophisticated enough to be trusted with a takeover of our health care system.