Lawmakers: Sebelius failed at government website projects prior to serving in Obama administration
Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ failure at designing websites to provide government services began during her term as governor of Kansas, long before the Obamacare website debacle, Kansas political insiders told The Daily Caller.
Sebelius oversaw numerous costly and disastrous government website projects during her six-year governorship (2003-2009), including a failed update of the Department of Labor’s program to provide unemployment pay and other services and similar updates pertaining to the Department of Administration and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) services.
The Department of Labor’s overhaul of its computer programs was a notable boondoggle, according to 14-year former Kansas state senator and former state Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee.
“In the Kansas Senate, I chaired the Commerce committee. We had oversight over the Department of Labor. For years, we watched as the Department of Labor under Sebelius worked on that computer program. After seven years and $50 million, something should work,” Brownlee told TheDC.
“In Kansas if you have a 40 or 50 million dollar project, that’s a lot of money,” Brownlee said, noting that the Labor Department project was funded by federal money while other Sebelius website projects sucked up state taxpayer dollars. “They started and stopped that project with at least 3 different major contractors.”
When Brownlee was appointed to head the state’s Department of Labor under new Republican governor Sam Brownback in 2011, she was tasked with cleaning up Sebelius’ technical mess.
“When I walked in the door at Labor [the computer update] was half-done. There were about 240 errors in work-around. It was not functional,” Brownlee said.
“The agency was spending more than $1 million per month on contractors and other things. So as soon as we found out how much was going out per month we had to shut that down. That wasn’t workable,” Brownlee said. “In the private sector, that would never be acceptable.”