CGI is not a creative free spirit from Jersey City with an impressive mastery of Twitter, but a Canadian corporate behemoth. Indeed, CGI is so Canadian their name is French: Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique. Their most famous government project was for the Canadian Firearms Registry. The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That’s a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada’s PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion — or a thousand times more expensive.
Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun — or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60. Of those $300 gun registrations, Canada’s auditor general reported to parliament that much of the information was either duplicated or wrong in respect to basic information such as names and addresses.I dunno. Were I an Obama factotum casing around for the perfect techies to design the uber-complicated website whose success or failure might be the difference between an Obamacare that was acceptably non-functional, and one that, having seized up entirely, was bound for the landfill of failed historical experiments--hello, Prohibition!--I think I might have been inclined to give CGI a pass.
For those inclined to blame Canada--or at least Quebec--for the mess, I suggest you hold off. CGI, after all, had a shot at making a fortune, and who in their right mind would balk at that? No, it is more fitting to blame those for whom "long gun registry debacle" has no resonance, since it occurred in a country far, far away. That they willingly hitched Obama's signature and transformational piece of legislation to be these turkeys amounts to an epic fail on their part.
The take-home here: hitch your wagon to a turkey and there's no way that bird'll fly.
Or dindon, as they say in Quebec.
|CGI says, "We do not want to be the turkeys of the farce."|