Gov. Patrick to Unveil Plan to Rescue Connector Website

A consulting group’s report identified major blunders in the development of the costly health insurance gateway.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Flickr/Nathan Ouellette/Governor's Office

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to announce a plan today to rescue the state’s broken Obamacare website — bringing in an outside point person and hiring the new contractor that fixed the federal portal — after a consulting group’s report identified major blunders in the development of the costly health insurance gateway, an administration official told the Boston Herald.

The consultant, MITRE Corp., found that contractor CGI lacked the appropriate resources — including assigning too few staffers, who didn’t have the expertise to build the complicated site, according to a copy of the report obtained by the Herald last night.

“The present team does not appear to have sufficient depth to create and maintain processes and to communicate them appropriately,” reads the report, expected to be released today.

MITRE cited a lack of communication by CGI officials as “one of the greatest challenges” of the project and noted that planning schedules often were disorganized.

“In most cases, two separate documents show different dates for the same event,” the report reads.

A CGI spokeswoman could not be reached for comment last night.

The report also cited failures with state officials overseeing the $69 million health-care website debacle. MITRE found too many state agencies were involved in the site — including the Massachusetts Health Connector, MassHealth and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center — and there should have been a single state official for site developers to work with.

“There does not appear to be a consistent, unified vision for the system nor clear lines of accountability for implementing the vision,” the report states.

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Patrick is expected to announce that he’s adopting a MITRE recommendation to bring in a point person from outside the administration to oversee the fix, as users scramble to meet March deadlines to enroll in health insurance, the administration official said.

He also is expected to announce he is hiring Min­nesota-based Optum to take over the site’s management, to fix technical problems and to boost the site’s capacity and ease a huge backlog, the official said.

The Obama administration picked Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, to fix the disastrous federal website.

The company also has worked on other states’ health-care sites, including Minnesota and Maryland.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts has stopped pay­ing its $69 million contract with CGI after shelling out $11 million.

Patrick’s announcement could lay the groundwork for a future lawsuit he and Attorney General Martha Coakley have threatened against CGI.

The Herald reported last month that state officials knew by early 2013 the site probably would not be ready for its Oct. 1 launch.

©2014 the Boston Herald