ObamaCare Website Builder Also Tapped for Long-delayed Disaster Relief

By:  Michael Tennant
ObamaCare Website Builder Also Tapped for Long-delayed Disaster Relief

The same company that built the problem-plagued ObamaCare website was tapped to disburse long-overdue Hurricane Sandy relief.

When it comes to government, nothing succeeds like failure. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of CGI Federal, the company that built the troubled ObamaCare website. As it turns out, CGI was also put in charge of disbursing federal disaster aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy — and has been hardly more successful in that endeavor.

According to documents obtained by FreedomWorks, at a May 9 meeting of the Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC), which is overseeing the implementation of two Sandy-related relief programs, CGI got plum deals related to both. First, it got a three-year, $4.3-milion contract to assist in the implementation of the $1.7-billion Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Program. Second, it received a no-bid contract “on the basis of an emergency” to implement the Disaster Housing Assistance Program. CGI was already serving as “HTFC’s performance based contractor administrator” at the time and was therefore expected to be able “to rapidly deploy the program.”

“True to that,” noted FreedomWorks, “in just a few short weeks, CGI rapidly sought to hire roughly 40 Disaster Recovery Specialists.”

Actually disbursing the aid — i.e., doing more than just hiring people on the taxpayers’ dime — is another matter. According to an October 22 Associated Press report, a year after Sandy made landfall, just $700 million of the $60 billion in aid that Congress approved has been released. “Within that package was $16 billion allocated to HUD [the Department of Housing and Urban Development] in fiscal year 2013 for the CDBG Disaster Recovery program, of which the $1.7 billion was to be distributed via the CGI contract,” wrote FreedomWorks.

However, nearly six months after the contract was approved — expressly because CGI was expected to get the program moving quickly — and almost a year after the storm, around half of the 24,000 families who applied for aid to repair their homes “still haven’t received any money,” the AP reported.

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