A Microsoft executive in charge of the company's Office suite will now lead the technology team of healthcare.gov, the Health and Human Services Department announced Monday.
If someone visits the site while it is at capacity, it will prompt them to enter an email address and then send an email with suggestions for when to try again, said Jeffrey Zients, the Obama administration official overseeing efforts to repair the site. The email will include a link that places the user at the front of the line when he or she attempts to visit the site again.
Obama administration officials told reporters during a Dec. 1 call that they've met their objective of making healthcare.gov work smoothly for the vast majority of users by the end of November, also releasing a report (.pdf) containing metrics.
Problems plaguing healthcare.gov should be fixed for most users by the end of next month, former White House official Jeffrey Zients told reporters days into his role as head of the " tech surge " the Obama administration says will resolve the system's technical issues. Zients's comment came after a four hour Oct. 24 hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee during which system contractors were witnesses.
Damage control and political fire-fanning dominate the fourth week of healthcare.gov's existence, making the federal healthcare insurance website for the 36 states that refused to build their own insurance exchange the locus for partisan divide and continuing criticism of federal information technology management. A poll shows that a majority of Americans may already believe that website problems are part of a broader problem with the health insurance law's implementation.
Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel will serve as the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management.
President Obama sent to Congress Wednesday a $3.77 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2014, a total amounting to about $14 million less than estimated fiscal 2013 spending. When accounting for White House-projected inflation, that proposed topline is 0.37 below current year spending.
President Barack Obama nominated Brian Deese as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget Monday, according to a White House press release. Obama tapped Sylvia Burwell for the top spot at OMB on March 4. The confirmation process is expected to go smoothly, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said at a March 19 press briefing.
New guidance, in the form of a memo (.pdf) signed by OMB Director Jeff Zients and Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel, combines PortfolioStat and the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative into a single, streamlined reporting mechanism. As part of this approach, FDCCI success won't be measured by closures, says the memo.
The Office of Management and Budget has outlined the budget cuts that must be applied to the federal government under sequestration, but there is no political consensus on their economic impact. "According to analysis by outside experts, sequestration would reduce real GDP growth for 2013 by 0.5 to 0.7 percentage points were it to continue for the rest of the calendar year," says the White House.