As millions prepare to file their 2014 tax returns this year, a warning to taxpayers.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has signed a $4.5 million contract with Montreal-based Canadian firm CGI Federal to build a software program that would enable the agency to implement the tax collection component of the ObamaCare law this year.
CGI Federal was hired by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after passage of ObamaCare to set up HealthCare.gov. Upon launch, the website froze, crashed and leaked personal information on enrollees at a cost of $10.5 billion before federal officials terminated CGI’s contract in January 2014.
Then last August, the IRS hired CGI to provide “critical functions” and “management support” for its Obamacare tax program according to the federal government procurement database Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).
This happened despite then Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius telling Congress that the CGI-designed website was a “miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans.”
Writing for The Daily Caller, Richard Pollock contacted Scott Amey, general counsel for the non-profit Project on Government Oversight that reviews government contracting for his opinion on the IRS contract with CGI.
“CGI was the poster child for government failure,” he told The Daily Caller. “I am shocked that the IRS has turned around and is using them for Obamacare IT work.”
One of the biggest problems ObamaCare enrollees face if they do get on the HealthCAre.gov website and are able to enter their personal information is the issue of data security.
An opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal last November entitled ObamaCare Security: Still on Life Support, author Diane Black said security for the HealthCare.gov has been described by experts as a ‘hacker’s dream’.
In its critique of security on the website, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Americans are rightly concerned that hackers can break into the website and harvest vast amounts of sensitive personal enrollment information including from full legal names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and even income information. What’s more, millions of Americans must use the HeathCare.gov website by law.
Now they will have to do so again using CGI software at the IRS where millions Obamacare policyholders and tens of millions more Americans who don’t have healthcare coverage will rely on the IRS to process their 2014 income tax returns.
If information on a taxpayer’s healthcare coverage is wrong on the return or miscalculated by the software, Americans might not see expected refunds, or worse, even owe money – including interest and penalties – to the IRS.