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FCW : October 2014
October 2014 FCW.COM 9 will be spent on geospatial services under two new Army Corps of Engineers contracts $250 million Join the conversation FCW uses Twitter to break news, field questions and ask our own. Learn more at Twitter.com/FCWnow. @AlanBalutis - insightful as ever in discussing the role of the CIO. It’s too soon to abandon CIOs -- FCW http://fcw.com/ articles/2014/10/02/too-soon-to-abandon-cios.aspx ... via @FCWnow 2:07PM-2Oct2014 David Wennergren @ davewennergren Reply Retweet Favorite The Department of Health and Human Services’ innovative procurement ini- tiative awarded its first contract in late September and is looking to take on larger projects as soon as the fiscal 2015 appropriations process plays out. On the last day of fiscal 2014, the HHS Buyers Club selected Akira Tech- nologies to help the department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) implement a platform and technical infrastructure for its websites, databases and soft- ware development environments; cre- ate a Web content management system and software package; redesign public and internal websites; and migrate those websites and databases into the content management system. Mark Naggar, procurement adviser for the Buyers Club, told FCW that the initiative’s nontraditional process allowed the department to give poten- tial vendors looser objectives to work with and ask them to submit prototypes of their proposed solutions before HHS made its final selection. The department issued no formal statement of objective of what it hoped to accomplish, and ASPE officials nar- rowed the field by choosing five ven- dors with the best ideas described in eight-page concept papers. Those semifinalists were given $10,000 to cre- ate prototypes for the department to test. HHS is soliciting comments and feedback from participants with an eye toward resolving problems and expanding the process in the coming months. Regarding future Buyers Club solici- tations, Naggar said, “we’re in the plan- ning stages with a lot of groups. There are some larger and some smaller” projects waiting in line, although “noth- ing the size of HealthCare.gov.” One stumbling block is the federal budget process, he added. The current continuing resolution, which was enact- ed in mid-September and is set to expire in December, does not allow for much in the way of procurement planning. In the meantime, he said HHS and the Buyers Club are seeking to spread the word about acquisition innovation across government. They are working with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the General Services Administration on an informal Buyers Club email community. — Mark Rockwell HHS Buyers Club cuts first contract, looks for more Senior Obama administration officials are touting the capacity and ease of use of the revamped HealthCare.gov site in advance of the coming open- enrollment period. Andy Slavitt, prin- cipal deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said on Oct. 8 that the site would be able to handle “significantly more” traffic than the 125,000 simul- taneous users HealthCare.gov could support at its peak in March 2014, when the inaugural open-enrollment season was ending. According to a Reuters article, fore- casters are predicting that as many as 13 million people will enroll in new coverage or renew existing coverage during the next open-enrollment peri- od, which kicks off Nov. 15. “We’re in a very different spot than we were last year, when we were building from whole cloth,” Slavitt said, according to the article. “Now we’ve got a body of knowledge that we’re continuing to build and learn against.” Slavitt and HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan gave a small group of reporters an advance look at the site. System testing is taking place far- ther in advance of open enrollment than was the case in 2013, officials say, with three rounds of testing completed and a fourth, involving insurance car- riers, underway. The new HealthCare.gov also offers a simpler interface for first-time users that reduces the number of screens required to navigate through registra- tion and plan selection. About 70 per- cent of new applicants will qualify for the streamlined interface. — Adam Mazmanian Revamped HealthCare.gov site ready for prime time
September 30, 2014
November and December 2014