As overheard earlier this week...(with all due respect to Monty Python and The Holy Grail... Original scene here )
American Public: We have found a glitch! (A glitch! a glitch!) Fix it… Fix it!
American 1: We have found a glitch, can you fix it? (cheers)
Sebelius: How do you know it’s a glitch?
American 2: My PC rebooted! Look at this screen shot.
Sebelius: Bring it forward. (advance)
Contractor: It’s not a glitch! It’s not a glitch!
Sebelius: ehh... but the blue color and cryptic hexadecimal notation says it’s one.
Contractor: The GOP forced us to use that color and incomprehensible message!
GOP Senator: Naah, no we didn't... no.
Contractor: And this isn’t our responsibility. We never got paid to do it right the first time around!
(Sebelius holds up $400M contract)
Contractor 1: Well we did get a couple hundred million to do THAT work.
Sebelius: And all the contract amendments?
Contractor 1: ...they were only for $300M. But it’s not a glitch!
(All: yeah, fix it, fix it!)
Sebelius: Did you overwhelm healthcare.gov like this?
American 1: No! (no no... no) Yes. (yes yeah) a bit (a bit bit a bit) But I still couldn’t create an account!
(Senator 1 points at source code)
Sebelius: What makes you think it is a glitch?
Senator 2: Well, when I tried to create an account it turned me into a newt!
Sebelius: A newt?!
(Senator 2 pauses & looks around)
Senator 2: I got better.
American 2: Fix it anyway! (fix it, fit it!)
(Aneesh Chopra walks in)
Sebelius: There are ways of telling whether it is a glitch.
Senator 1: Are there? Well then tell us! (tell us)
Sebelius: Tell me... what do you do with glitches?
Senator 2: Pay to fix'em! Pay to fix them up! (pay pay pay)
Sebelius: What do you pay to fix apart from glitches?
Senator 1: More glitches! (Senator 2 nudges Senator 1)
Senator 3: Elections!
Sebelius: So, why must glitches be fixed?
Senator 2: Cuz the contractors didn’t get them right the first time around?
(crowd congratulates Senator 2)
Sebelius: So, how do we tell when the glitches are fixed?
Senator 1: The contractors send us an invoice for their fixes!
Sebelius: Ahh, but haven’t the contractors already charged us for the original work?
Senator 1: Oh yeah...
Sebelius: Do we always pay 2 or 3 or 4 times for the same work?
Senator 1: Usually
Senator 2: Let's throw the contractors into the bog! (yeah yeah ya!)
Sebelius: Who also charges us for work they’ve never done or previously been paid for?
Senator 1: Other contractors
Senator 2: Politicians
Senator 3: HHS procurement staff
(Sebelius looks annoyed)
Senator 1: Lobbyists
Senator 3: Criminals
Chopra: Prime contractors!
(all look and stare at Chopra)
Sebelius: Exactly! So, logically...
Senator 1 (thinking): If a prime contractor was previously paid for their code, and their code is not working now…
(pause & think)
Senator 3: it’s a contract amendment! (Senator 1: an amendment)(Senator Public 2: an amendment)(all: an amendment!)
Sebelius: We shall use our most liberal amendment!
(Sebelius jumps down)
(walk over while cheering)
(signs a high value contract amendment)
Sebelius: Overnight this to the contractor!
All: A glitch! fix it, fix it!