BIG GOV­ERN­MENT MALAISE

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

IT guru Ben Simo re­cently an­a­lyzed the er­rant Health­Care.gov sign-up site for Con­sumer Re­ports, con­clud­ing that those pesky glitches were caused by un­wieldy elec­tronic “cook­ies” that dom­i­nated the soft­ware. Now another IT guru has stepped for­ward to pro­claim that bu­reau­cracy is to blame.

“In the case of Health­Care.gov, the root cause isn’t the bugs we see in the soft­ware’s code. In­stead, it’s the way that gov­ern­ment pro­cures things — in this case, soft­ware. The reg­u­la­tion is 6,500 pages long,” points out Clay John­son, founder of the tech firm Depart­ment of Bet­ter Tech­nol­ogy.

“The re­sult of this reg­u­la­tion? The con­tracts are go­ing to the peo­ple who un­der­stand those reg­u­la­tions the best, not those who can do the best job,” Mr. John­son ex­plains. “The real bugs are in the fed­eral ac­qui­si­tion. They pre­vent the small, in­no­va­tive, ag­ile tech firms that have given you a great user ex­pe­ri­ence on the Web from even con­sid­er­ing work­ing with gov­ern­ment.”

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