From MIT Technology Review, What went wrong with America’s $44 million vaccine data system?
God, when will governments learn that throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at a consulting firm in a crisis to build a bespoke information system always, I repeat always, results in a complete loss. They may as well take the millions and burn it in a wondrous campfire. At least then we’d have s’mores.
The CDC awarded two multi-million dollar contracts to Deloitte with no competition. None. Just “Here, take this money and come up with something useful.” Heads should roll. From the article:
Her frustration is echoed by millions of Americans who have struggled to get vaccines through various chaotic systems. But unlike others in some states, she wasn’t encountering these problems with a third-party consumer service like Eventbrite, or even through an antiquated government system. She was on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s brand-new, $44 million website called VAMS—the Vaccine Administration Management System, built by the consulting firm Deloitte.
Unless you’re in one of the few states using it, you may not have heard of VAMS. But it was supposed to be a one-stop shop where employers, state officials, clinics, and individuals could manage scheduling, inventory, and reporting for covid shots—and free for anyone to use.
The Biden administration has inherited a web of tech systems and policies that it must navigate to meet its goal of administering 100 million doses in the first 100 days.
Instead, “VAMS has become a cuss word,” Marshall Taylor, head of South Carolina’s health department, told state lawmakers in January. He went on to describe how the system has badly hurt their immunization efforts so far. Faced with a string of problems and bugs, several states, including South Carolina, are choosing to hack together their own solutions, or pay for private systems instead.
Clinic workers in Connecticut, Virginia, and other states say the system is notorious for randomly canceled appointments, unreliable registration, and problems that lock staff out of the dashboard they’re supposed to use to log records. The CDC acknowledges there are multiple flaws it’s working to fix, although it attributes some of the problems to user error.
This is what gives “big government” a bad name. Waste, fraud and abuse.
As long as I’m on the subject of government outrages, this person needs to go. She’s a serious candidate for “Worst Person in the World” now that Twitler has left the stage. Another belligerent, arrogant, narcissistic person in public office, this time a female. What is it about this personality type that public office attracts?