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Obama-Care Website Manager Was Kept In Dark

From Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News:

Memo warned of "limitless" security risks for HealthCare.gov

By Sharyl Attkisson | November 11, 2013

(CBS News) WASHINGTON — CBS News has learned that the project manager in charge of building the federal health care website was apparently kept in the dark about serious failures in the website’s security. Those failures could lead to identity theft among buying insurance. The project manager testified to congressional investigators behind closed doors, but CBS News has obtained the first look at a partial transcript of his testimony.

Henry Chao, HealthCare.gov’s chief project manager at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), gave nine hours of closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee in advance of this week’s hearing. In excerpts CBS News has obtained, Chao was asked about a memo that outlined important security risks discovered in the insurance system.

Chao said he was unaware of a Sept. 3 government memo written by another senior official at CMS. It found two high-risk issues, which are redacted for security reasons. The memo said "the threat and risk potential (to the system) is limitless." …

But Chao testified he’d been told the opposite. "What I recall is what the team told me, is that there were no high findings," he said. Chao testified security gaps could lead to identity theft, unauthorized access and misrouted data.

Maybe Mr. Chao is telling the truth. Or maybe he is just employing the patented Obama defense. "I didn’t know. Nobody told me."

According to federal guidelines, high risk means "the vulnerability could be expected to have a severe or catastrophic adverse affect on organizational operations … assets or individuals."

But it’s nothing serious.

It was Chao who recommended it was safe to launch the website Oct. 1. When shown the security risk memo, Chao said, "I just want to say that I haven’t seen this before."

Didn’t he read any newspapers? There were plenty of reports about how the Obama-Care website would not be certified to be secure by IT experts before it was launched.

A Republican staff lawyer asked, "Do you find it surprising that you haven’t seen this before?"

Chao replied, "Yeah … I mean, wouldn’t you be surprised if you were me?" He later added: "It is disturbing. I mean, I don’t deny that this is … a fairly nonstandard way" to proceed.

The author of the security memo, Tony Trenkle, retired from CMS last week; no reason was given.

That’s the Obama way. Punish the competent and reward the screw-ups.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Obama-Care Website Manager Was Kept In Dark”

  1. captstubby says:

    government memo written by another senior official .

    ..Transparency and Open Government
    Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
    SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government

    My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

    Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.

    Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.

    Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperateamong themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.

    This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.



  2. GetBackJack says:

    Translation: “Create a police state as soon as possible ..”

  3. canary says:

    I thought Chao was pulled in at the last minute because they knew it was a security risk. I guess they wanted a slick liar good with words. No different than Obama saying he didn’t lie.

  4. Astravogel says:

    Odd, he doesn’t look like a mushroom. Aren’t they kept in
    the dark and fed manure? Say, we might have a bunch of
    them voting in this country.

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