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Healthcare.gov mismanaged millions in government contracts, audit says

According to a new audit, the government employees responsible for managing $600 million in contracts to build Healthcare.gov suffered from major lapses in training and leadership.

CMS skipped required training periods

The audit, reported on today by Bloomberg, was conducted by the inspector general of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, which handles federal health care programs. The review focused on 20 contracts worth a combined $600 million, 70 percent of which has been allocated, and found some major missteps in the process, starting even before the website's well-publicized IT woes.

According to Bloomberg, the audit found that CMS skipped a required 96-hour training period for employees overseeing contracts worth more than $10 million. Despite not even having the training required to oversee a contract worth $25,000, the audit found, one employee was managing a contract worth $130 million for at least 15 months. Federal standards for training won't be met until October of next year.

Frequent changes in leadership, the audit also found, led to confusion about who was in charge, sometimes failing to document the leader of a project. CMS was also unable to hand over documents requested by the inspector general. It is unclear if the agency leading CMS, the Department of Health and Human Services, has or will take any action against employees mentioned in the audit.