Following the mess that became the website, whose creation was awarded to a single contractor without competitive bidding, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is ordering a review and putting new policies and personnel in place to clean up the contracting process.

At the same time, the department announced that its January "Contracting with CMS" conference will feature a discussion on "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Contract Proposals."

CMS stands for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency within HHS that contracted out the Obamacare website. This year CMS alone awarded $5.3 billion in contracts.

Along with an investigation into contracting procedures at CMS, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius announced three steps:

  • Inspector General Dan Levinson will "review the acquisition process, overall program management, and contractor performance and payment issues related to the development and management of the website."
  • A new position will be established, Chief Risk Officer, whose "first assignment will be to review risk management practices when it comes to IT acquisition and contracting," and report back within 60 days.
  • The agency will "update and expand CMS employee training on best practices for contractor and procurement management, rules and procedures."