A few of the major contractors behind Healthcare.gov will appear before Congress on Thursday to testify on the site's problems, and how they didn't really have anything to do with them. Some of the major firms, including CGI Federal and Quality Software Services Inc. will appear, and based on the testimonies they've prepared for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, they'll lay most of the blame on "other" contractors, the complexity of working with 55 contractors and mismanagement by the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, according to The New York Times

The complexity of the site

  • "Unfortunately, in systems this complex with so many concurrent users, it is not unusual to discover problems that need to be addressed once the software goes into a live production environment." — Cheryl R. Campbell, a senior vice president of CGI Federal.
  • Andrew M. Slavitt of Quality Software said their technology was just one part of “the federal marketplace’s registration and access management system, which involves multiple vendors and pieces of technology.”

"Other" contractors

  • The problems user had creating creating their accounts were the fault of “another contractor,” according to Campbell of CGI. The Times believe that contractors is Quality Software Services Inc.
  • Slavitt of Quality Software said that, in their role as testers, they looked for errors in code provided to them. As in, they didn't write it, so. They then turned their work over to the "relevant" contractor.
  • John Lau at Serco said his company, which inputs data from paper applications into the eligibility system, is having trouble because the system doesn't work. 

The government

  • Both CGI and Quality Software emphasized that they reported to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services

Miscellaneous or 'somebody else, but not us'

  • Campbell of CGI emphasized that her firm won their bid through “full and open competition.”
  • As The Times notes, these same contractors told congress on September 10 that they were ready for the site to launch on October 1. 

(Screenshot via CNN's Live Feed of the hearing.)