Policy: Environment & Energy

Obamacare website firm's execs had White House access

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White House,Watchdog,Richard Pollock,Watchdog Blog,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health and Human Services,Health Care,EPA,Kathleen Sebelius,Accountability,Energy and Environment,CGI Federal

Senior executives from CGI Federal -- the company that won the Obamacare website contract -- enjoyed high-level access to top Obama administration officials, according to White House visitors' logs.

CGI Federal is the U.S. subsidiary of CGI Group, the Canadian company based in Montreal that won the $93 million contract from the Department of Health and Human Services in December 2011 to build Healthcare.gov, the main Obamacare web site.

Prior to the official award, senior CGI executives met with top White House officials and attended a number of invitation-only addresses by President Obama.

According to the logs, CGI Federal President Donna Ryan visited the White House six times prior to her company being selected to do the IT design work behind the high-profile website.

Two of the meetings attended by CGI executives were with Vivek Kundra, Obama's chief information officer. Kundra was a key figure in Obama administration information technology initiatives across the government.

Ryan met Kundra on June 21, 2010, in the latter's Old Executive Office Building office, according to the White House visitor logs.

In that meeting, Ryan was accompanied by three additional CGI executives, including George Schindler, who in January 2013 would be appointed president of CGI in the U.S. and Canada.

Also attending was Donna Morea, who oversaw the firm's U.S., European and Asian operations.

The day after Ryan met with Kundra, she was invited to attend an Obama speech touting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the need for a new "Patients' Bill of Rights.”

Earlier, on Jan. 7, 2010, Cheryl Campbell, another CGI executive who was deeply involved with the company’s health care contracts, attended a White House meeting with Kundra.

In 2009, Campbell was appointed senior vice president of CGI’s federal public sector health division. She was an early Obama supporter, giving $1,000 to his primary campaign against Hillary Clinton in June 2007.

Joining Campbell at the meeting was Andrew McLauchlin, a former CGI vice president, who was part of a company-government networking program called the “CGI Initiative for Collaborative Government.”

McLauchin was also an Obama financial supporter, giving $2,300 to the Obama Victory Fund and another $2,300 to Obama for America.

The initiative McLauchin headed provided a soft landing place for at least six other former high-ranking federal officials.

According to the initiative’s web page, its six top leaders hailed from long careers in federal departments and agencies.

John Loonsk, for example, was a former director for health information technology at HHS, which awarded the Obamacare web project. He is now CGI’s chief medical officer, as well as a member of the initiative.

James Peake was secretary of veterans affairs under President George W. Bush, and is now CGI's senior vice president for the health industry sector and an initiative member.

Others include Molly O'Neill, the former chief information officer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who is now a CGI vice president.

Barbara Fast, a former U.S. Army major general, is a CGI senior vice president for defense matters and part of the initiative.

Patricia Healey was the former chief financial officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is now a CGI executive consultant.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED BY THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER:

Feds got only one bid for Obamacare web site design.

Canadian officials fired Canadian firm behind Obamacare web site design.

Canadian firm behind problem-filled Obamacare web site design.

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