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D.C. Awards Obamacare IT Work To Offshore Outsourcer

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the cheap-labor dept.

The Almighty Buck 402

dcblogs writes "Infosys, an India-based offshore IT outsourcing firm, recently announced that it had won a $49.5 million contract to develop a health benefit exchange for the District of Columbia. The contract was awarded to a U.S.-based Infosys subsidiary, Infosys Public Services. That's one of the larger government contracts won by an offshore outsourcing firm, but it's unclear whether any of the work will be done overseas. The District isn't disclosing any contract details. An FOIA request for the contract has been submitted. Infosys is one of the largest users of H-1B visas, and has been under a grand jury investigation for its use of B1 visitor visas."

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Yet another great argument... (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about a year ago | (#44154923)

for why the H-1B system ought to be massively reduced and US contracts should be awarded only to actual US companies instead of shell-game "subsidiaries."

Re:Yet another great argument... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44154989)

How does that fit into the free market capitalism that made America great? If someone else can do the same job cheaper, hire them instead. That nationalistic BS is not going to benefit us in the long run. Artificially inflated prices are not beneficial to anyone but the small few who are on the receiving end of them.

Re:Yet another great argument... (5, Insightful)

penglust (676005) | about a year ago | (#44155031)

Nice sound bite. Too bad it is only that. We have never had, and should never have, true free market capitalism. The government has always provided many services to the businesses that make up our economy.

Even if they had not, out taxes are paying for these contracts. Our government is supposed to represent the citizens. It is in the best interest of the citizens on this country to get people back to work.

Re:Yet another great argument... (2, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#44155557)

Protectionism is why sugar prices are so high in America that we use high fructose corn syrup whereas the rest of the world uses ordinary sugar. Protectionism, not the stock market, caused the great depression (Smoot-Hawley tariff act). Protectionism causes domestic steel prices to go up, which makes goods we export cost more than foreign goods.

I could go on with a ton of examples of why protectionism does far more harm to our economy than good. When trade restrictions are lifted on the other hand, we win.

A lot of people think we're getting the shaft from China, but it's really the other way around. They give us nice LCD screens, smartphones, and even capital goods (capital goods being tools used to build our infrastructure) and in return we give them useless little pieces of paper that we basically charge them interest on (inflation.)

Yes, the free market is the way to go.

Re:Yet another great argument... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155661)

Protectionism is why sugar prices are so high in America that we use high fructose corn syrup whereas the rest of the world uses ordinary sugar. Protectionism, not the stock market, caused the great depression (Smoot-Hawley tariff act). Protectionism causes domestic steel prices to go up, which makes goods we export cost more than foreign goods.

I could go on with a ton of examples of why protectionism does far more harm to our economy than good. When trade restrictions are lifted on the other hand, we win.

A lot of people think we're getting the shaft from China, but it's really the other way around. They give us nice LCD screens, smartphones, and even capital goods (capital goods being tools used to build our infrastructure) and in return we give them useless little pieces of paper that we basically charge them interest on (inflation.)

Yes, the free market is the way to go.

And good luck with that bullshit when those "useless" pieces of paper become worthless pieces of paper.

Re:Yet another great argument... (3, Interesting)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44155701)

It is in the best interest of the citizens on this country to get people back to work.

That all depends on who's interests you are invested in.

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#44155727)

Free market capitalism works great - when you're not depending on government and/or how much they spend of your tax dollars.

Re:Yet another great argument... (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44155057)

The race to the bottom only benefits the select few on top. With your idea we would all be working for $1/day while the rich get even richer.

If you want a good example of this see hong kong or another place that allows those kinds of income inequalities. I would rather most americans be able to afford homes and food instead of most living in squalor so a select few can be super rich.

Re:Yet another great argument... (3, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#44155805)

The race to the bottom argument is a logical fallacy. Let's suppose this: If you race the prices to the bottom (i.e. everything becomes so cheap that anybody can afford it anyways) then who cares how much money you have? You can't eat money, and you can't use money: You can only spend it.

What you need to look at is purchasing power, and you need to understand the distinction between money and wealth.

I'd rather live in a world where I make $10 an hour with my lunch costing only $4 than live in a world where I make $20 an hour and the same lunch costs $20. And as time goes on, this is the reality we live in.

In the world we live in, yes, the rich become wealthier, but the poor also become wealthier. In fact, the poor are wealthier than they've ever been at any point in history. This is an indisputable fact. Most of today's poor, even in third world countries, own cell phones, TV's, and have ample access to food. In fact food is now cheaper than it has ever been, so where that was a problem in the past it almost no longer exists.

I remember in the 80's, you were one wealthy SOB if you owned a personal computer, a big screen TV and a carphone. Now try to find somebody who doesn't have these things, and the ones they have are FAR better than the ones the rich had in the 80's. And in spite of this, people like you come around insisting that things are only getting worse for the poor, and it's all the fault of capitalism. You simply look at dollar figures and say "adjusted for inflation, this person now makes less" and with that information alone you conclude that capitalism is the problem, and you wrongly conclude that we're on this race to the bottom where everybody is worse off than they were before. It's just not true, not even close to being true.

I don't know what your motivations are, but I do know this: When people like you see these things as being wrong, they lobby for the government to "fix" things, and the "fixes" almost always end up making things worse for everybody. Case in point: Smoot-Hawley was supposed to "fix" unemployment, and it did the opposite. We're fine the way we're going now. Technology keeps advancing, and food and luxury items keep getting cheaper.

Re:Yet another great argument... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155881)

n the world we live in, yes, the rich become wealthier, but the poor also become wealthier. In fact, the poor are wealthier than they've ever been at any point in history.

The issue is that there are more poor people in the United States than at any point in recent history. You carefully choose your metric to paint a rosy picture, but the fact is that for the average American worker, real wages have been declining for decades. The reason for this decline is in no small part due to the uplifting effects of global trade in labor.

Re:Yet another great argument... (4, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#44155903)

The race to the bottom argument is a logical fallacy.
Yes, it's only in that inconvenient real world that it happens. In case you've forgotten, wages in the USA started stagnating in the 70s and the divide between wealthy and poor grows larger each year. Moreover, the real world examples of unregulated capitalism (e.g. Pakistan, Somalia, Mexico, the USA, China) show exactly what happens when the government "gets out of the way." This is solely due to changes in government taxation regulation changes on high income earners and high income corporations, and the demise of checks on finance (i.e. Glass-steagall).

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155921)

Some consumer goods get cheaper, but natural resources do not. Your standard of living will, therefore, decrease. The wealthy use their influence for more and more opulence, and the jobs become less fulfilling, and less productive to society at large. I.e. less research, more domestic employment. We don't have to speculate about this, there are historical and modern examples!

Re:Yet another great argument... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44155941)

The middle class shrinking is fine?
All the gains of the recovery going to the top percent is ok?

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155979)

It's unfortunate if the real value of your work is only $1/day and you feel threatened by other people competing for your job, but why should others be required to subsidize your extravagant standard of living by paying you more than you're worth?

Re:Yet another great argument... (1, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#44156003)

i'll take a capitalist race to the bottom over a communist forced march to the gulag.

Re:Yet another great argument... (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about a year ago | (#44155071)

How does that fit into the free market capitalism that made America great? If someone else can do the same job cheaper, hire them instead.

You mean to say, "If someone can be hired for slave wages and locked into a single-employer contract with no chance to move jobs rather than hiring people on an equal footing."

This is about as far from "free market capitalism" as it comes. The H-1B system deliberately alters the agreement [slashdot.org] and creates a semi-slave labor deliberately paying under-market wages.

And then there's all [aila.org] the fraud [lexology.com] in the system [motherjones.com] . Including falsely inflated skills listings designed to keep anyone from successfully applying [dailykos.com] for the jobs later salted to H-1Bs with far less than the originally advertised qualifications. And of course the demand for H-1Bs rather than actual EB-5s [cringely.com] where they would have legal right to leave for better employment if it was offered by another company.

Don't you dare use the term "free market capitalism", you fucking slavemonger. It's nothing of the sort.

Re:Yet another great argument... (1)

polar red (215081) | about a year ago | (#44155159)

This is about as far from "free market capitalism" as it comes

I question if "free market capitalism" is even possible

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155451)

Free market capitalism is not possible for very long.

A government-controlled market is obviously not a free market. A monopoly (or cartel) controlled free market is just as unfree.

ALL markets evolve in one direction or the other over time. Too little government intervention, and the monopolies claim ownership of the markets and erect barriers to entry that stop any competitors from ever getting a foot in the door. Too much government intervention, and before you know it the government owns the entire market.

This happens because free market capitalism is ultimately based on a contradiction. In order to gain the benefits, every business must compete against other, similar, businesses. In order to keep the benefits, no company must ever be allowed to win. You can't have perpetual competition without eventual victors.

Re:Yet another great argument... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155333)

"Don't you dare use the term "free market capitalism", you fucking slavemonger. It's nothing of the sort."

Pay attention, fucking communist: The employees under H-1B are not slaves. They knew the terms of the visa up-front. They can quit at any time. They have to leave the country then, but they do have a choice. Don't you dare use the term "slave" if you know what it means, you fucking idiot.

Re:Yet another great argument... (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44155607)

So it's OK because they are indentured servants then?

You don't have to be a communist to be against that sort of thing.

You can be a Lincoln Republican and be against that kind of thing.

That's what happens when you have the proudly ignorant rambling on about things they know nothing about.

Re:Yet another great argument... (4, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44155427)

Including falsely inflated skills listings designed to keep anyone from successfully applying for the jobs later salted to H-1Bs with far less than the originally advertised qualifications.

Actually, they don't have to go through that rigamarole any longer: they quietly dropped the requirement that jobs be offered to citizens before hiring an H-1B the last time the various tech kingpins called up their patsies in Congress to ask for a change.

Re:Yet another great argument... (2, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | about a year ago | (#44155111)

Because, the government is what's making it uneconomical to hire US.

First off, we were founded on the principal of having tariffs. Having kept tariffs, we'd have kept much of our manufacturing and middle-class.

Second, when you claim an American worker costs to much, but point to all the mandated costs the American government has placed upon U.S. workers and business. Then for that reason, go elsewhere. It's not because of capitalism, but regulation.

Simple way to bring back jobs to America. Mandate ALL contracts abroad must maintain the same benefits and protections. Yes, healthcare must be provided, they must pay into social security, etc, etc.

Same way to deal with illegal alien employers. Don't fine them for employing illegal aliens. Fine them for not paying minimum wage. And well, if they're paying minimum wage. Let them be.

Re:Yet another great argument... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155193)

Because, the government is what's making it uneconomical to hire US.

First off, we were founded on the principal of having tariffs. Having kept tariffs, we'd have kept much of our manufacturing and middle-class.

Second, when you claim an American worker costs to much, but point to all the mandated costs the American government has placed upon U.S. workers and business. Then for that reason, go elsewhere. It's not because of capitalism, but regulation.

Simple way to bring back jobs to America. Mandate ALL contracts abroad must maintain the same benefits and protections. Yes, healthcare must be provided, they must pay into social security, etc, etc.

Same way to deal with illegal alien employers. Don't fine them for employing illegal aliens. Fine them for not paying minimum wage. And well, if they're paying minimum wage. Let them be.

So, your proposed fix is MORE regulation?

Yeah, that'll work.

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155349)

Actually, what he seems to be suggesting is the /enforcement/ of /existing/ regulations, the ones which are commonly ignored because they interfere with corporations pillaging the country for their own benefit.

But that sort of long-term thinking seems to be beyond most CEOs and corporate boards these days; it's anything to get the share-price up 0.1%. Who cares if that means destroying in ten years the middle class that will actually /buy/ the products the company is producing; that's somebody else's problem. Our corporate governors will have their golden parachutes to protect them from the financial disaster...

Re:Yet another great argument... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155767)

Actually, what he seems to be suggesting is the /enforcement/ of /existing/ regulations, the ones which are commonly ignored because they interfere with corporations pillaging the country for their own benefit.

But that sort of long-term thinking seems to be beyond most CEOs and corporate boards these days; it's anything to get the share-price up 0.1%. Who cares if that means destroying in ten years the middle class that will actually /buy/ the products the company is producing; that's somebody else's problem. Our corporate governors will have their golden parachutes to protect them from the financial disaster...

Well, yeah. Which is why more regulation won't fix the problem. Nor will enforcing existing regulations.

It all goes back to an overweening government with the power and desire to pick winners and losers. So anyone with the wherewithal (CEO, large unions, etc) to effectively lobby that government to pick THEM as winners is the best way to succeed for that individual or group.

And if you don't have the wherewithal to effectively lobby that government, you're screwed.

We wind up with Wall Street keeping profits and socializing risk through "bailouts". We get GE going all-in for Obama then getting rewarded with paying no taxes. We get governments under the de facto control of public employee unions that through union dues turn government money into campaign contributions. We get Microsoft bribing^H^H^H^H^H^Hlobbying their way out of compliance with antitrust laws. We get insurance companies writing health care reform laws that force everyone to buy health insurance. (Yay Obamacare - we pay more, get less care, and insurance companies get more customers. What a fucking travesty....)

Re:Yet another great argument... (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about a year ago | (#44155289)

This is an interesting concept, if not exactly applicable to 21st century reality. Or maybe you think magically Joe Buttonpusher and Sue Phoneanswerer are suddenly going to develop the aptitude and skills for knowledge work? Hahaha.

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

randomErr (172078) | about a year ago | (#44155331)

If the government was truly about capitalism them we wouldn't be into Obamacare at all. If someone else can do the same job cheaper, use them instead. Deregulate so companies can make it cheaper over here then a third world country that doesn't even come close to the current health care we offer here.

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155393)

Nice try, Mitt Romney.

Re:Yet another great argument... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#44155521)

How does that fit into the free market capitalism that made America great?

It has nothing to do with capitolism, but it has everything to do with democracy and secret ballot free elections, and PR. This just looks shitty to the voting public. As an American IT worker, it looks shitty to me. Obama isn't winning a lot of PR victories lately, and now this.

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155593)

There's a multiplier effect when buying locally. That's lost when outsourcing since the US runs massive trade deficits.

Re:Yet another great argument... (3, Insightful)

AmazingRuss (555076) | about a year ago | (#44155615)

A gigantic, unexploited continent chock full of resources is what made America great. Americas problems have increased as less of those resources and land remain there for the taking. Meanwhile, we blame each other for what none of us have any control of.

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155897)

That would be true if nations did not manipulate their money. India, South Korea, and China are massive manipulators.

Re:Yet another great argument... (2, Interesting)

davids-world.com (551216) | about a year ago | (#44155431)

I'm not sure you're familiar with the facts. First, the number of H1B's given to this company indicates precisely that they are _not_ an offshore, outsourcing enterprise - the place of employment (and where taxes are paid by the employer and employees) is the US. Second, H1B requires that employers "Pay the nonimmigrant workers at least the local prevailing wage or the employer's actual wage, whichever is higher; pay for non-productive time in certain circumstances; and offer benefits on the same basis as for U.S. workers;" (http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/h1b.htm) Of course, there is some wiggle room, but that is natural and appropriate for a free market society. The H1Bs I know are getting paid far above what certain US nationals make in similar jobs, because they're worth it. Their job hunt is international, and so are their careers. For other H1Bs - well, don't forget that this country was founded based on immigration. I agree that there are problems though - see Moryath's comment below. The bigger question for me is why it takes $50M to make a website backed by a database, to serve a tiny state in which most potential users will have employer-provided healthcare anyway.

Re:Yet another great argument... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#44155749)

what's the argument?

Re:Yet another great argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155901)

yes, the curry will most certainly be hitting the fan.......
well, the readers will be pleased to know that the current us administration is living on land taken after the genocidal slave-traders occupied and massacred the Indians. this should not be an immigration/ethnicity debate, the directors are not Sub-Continentals, theyre tax-evading sub-contacters!

Why? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44154959)

Why is this type of work not being done by an American company with American workers? This must be how Obama said we would "save money" on healthcare. By offshoring jobs critical to the program.

With everything that's been going on recently, can Obama do anything worse? We're finding out day after day that this guy is a colossal screw up.

Re:Why? (2)

CrzyP (830102) | about a year ago | (#44154993)

Because it would cost D.C. about 5 times more if it was done here?

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

penglust (676005) | about a year ago | (#44155067)

Number? Studies? Actual data? I keep hearing this kind of crap. The problem is every time a project I was on got associated with off shoring it ended up costing time and effort here to cover up the screw ups.

Again, present actual facts. I am sick and tired of the same old sound bites that just never seem to be true.

Re:Why? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#44155303)

If this ends up being like their programmer outsourcing, you will pay 10 people to do the work of one over here, then you will still have to fix it when the work comes back

Re: Why? (3, Interesting)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year ago | (#44155319)

I work for Accenture, my counterparts in India cost 1/5 of my wage and in many ways equal my quality. I'm not going to stick my fingers in my ears and him loudly, it is the facts.

Re: Why? (3, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | about a year ago | (#44155453)

I work for Accenture, my counterparts in India cost 1/5 of my wage and in many ways equal my quality. I'm not going to stick my fingers in my ears and him loudly, it is the facts.

So in the name of helping the american economy you should clearly accept an 80% pay cut to make yourself competitive with someone from India :)

(PS - This is a joke, in my experience offshoring to India is an utter disaster as your average indian outsourced development company will never give you an honest assessment of time involved in a project or actually admit when they are going to overrun the deadline before they do, causing any sort of confrontation is just too alien to the local culture even when it is better in the long run)

Re: Why? (1)

Evtim (1022085) | about a year ago | (#44155737)

Do you compare the bills you both have to pay?

Cause, you know, in my homeland in Eastern Europe I can get along nicely with 1/5 of a German salary....

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about a year ago | (#44155075)

Yes, but it will cost 20 times more to be burdened by and the be forced to fix a shitty first implementation.

Do it right the first time or you're going to pay even more to do it right the second.

Re:Why? (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#44155135)

Yeah, because American companies have an excellent track record with government IT projects.

Re:Why? (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#44155301)

Yeah, because all companies have an excellent track record with government IT projects.

FTFY

Re:Why? (0)

PortHaven (242123) | about a year ago | (#44155121)

Good, and then guess what...

That 5x as much, would mean 5x as many jobs. Those jobs would pay taxes. The rest of the $$$ they'd spend on goods and services. Creating more jobs, which would in turn ALSO pay taxes.

Re:Why? (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#44155199)

Average salary of systems administrator in India - ~$4,000 US
Average salary of a systems administrator in Washington DC - ~$75,000 US

'nuff said

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155327)

Average salary of systems administrator in India - ~$4,000 US
Average salary of a systems administrator in Washington DC - ~$75,000 US

'nuff said

Average quality of systems administrator in India - ~$4,000 US
Average quality of a systems administrator in Washington DC - ~$75,000 US

'nuff said

Re:Why? (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#44155413)

Average quality of a government systems administrator - Priceless

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44155537)

Average salary of systems administrator in India - ~$4,000 US
Average salary of a systems administrator in Washington DC - ~$75,000 US


Availability of your systems administrator when the shit hits the fan:
Outsourced to India - ~The third Thursday after Monsoon season ends.
In-house in DC - ~Already waiting in your office with an apology and an action plan.

Which one do you want to explain to the board you hired to save $71k/year, while the company hemorrhages 10x that per day in downtime because of your savings?

Now in fairness, I've worked with Indian H1Bs, and they pretty much have the same skills profiles as Americans - Half can just about get the job done when nothing exciting comes up, a quarter suck, and a quarter rock. But despite that, outsourcing still simply doesn't work for one simple reason - Management views it as waving the magic green wand and making a pesky project someone else's problem; when in reality, outsourced work requires more careful management than traditional in-house development.

Any PHB who thinks coding something to spec means a job well done, has never actually looked at the craptastic quality of most real-world specs.

Re:Why? (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#44155741)

I know and completely agree with everything you said. However, as far as the government is concerned, they look at $$$, not at the quality of work or any of the numerous important factors which you spelled out.

The government is like the guy that needs to buy a lawnmower and finds something on Craigslist. He spend $50 for a lawnmower that works for a month then blows up. So he buys another $50 lawnmower on Craigslist. The cycle repeats. By the end of the year, he's spent $300 buying used lawnmowers because they are "cheaper," when he could have bought a brand-new one for $250 and not had any problems.

Re:Why? (1)

Duhavid (677874) | about a year ago | (#44155801)

Effects, directly, note 1, note 2
Another person either
    On the dole ( increases govt spending in US ), possibly leading to increase in crime in US
    Jobless, possibly homeless ( note 1 ), possibly leading to increase in crime in US
    Going after the dwindling pool of jobs in "career", resulting in downward pressure on IT wage ( which reduces tax revenue in US ).
    Going after pool of jobs out of career, downward pressure on wages ( reduction in tax revenue ).

Note 1, Lost tax revenue to US govt, decrease in aggregate amount available to spend in US economy
Note 2, Additional tax revenue to India's govt, increase in aggregate amount available to spend in India's economy

There are other cascade effects, prices in US will have to fall, given the decreases in amounts available to spend.
( I.E., you have less to spend, so you move out of your house ( reducing mortgage/rent paid ), you tighten the belt ( spending less on food, and non-essentials ) , which means lowered amounts going to your creditors/people-you-pay-for-stuff, which means, in turn, less for them.....

Re:Why? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44155253)

Because it would cost D.C. about 5 times more if it was done here?

Then maybe we shouldn't do it anywhere.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155007)

Let's put it this way: outsourced Indian IT is no better or worse than your typical government contractor or employee.

Re:Why? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44155415)

Except outsourced overseas IT doesn't have to suffer the consequences of a bug. Government employees (excepting congressmen) do.

I applaud this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155115)

Why is this type of work not being done by an American company with American workers?

Because American companies are incompetent and expensive.

How are they incompetent?

  1. With all this unemployment, they can't get enough "qualified" workers.
  2. They charge too much
  3. And after charging all that money, you still get H1-Bs or....
  4. Your work is offshored anyway.

See, why pay through the nose for an American company who's just going to basically go offshore and use the premium they charge for paying their CEO and salespeople too much money (see IBM, Oracle, HP, etc...) when you can cut out the middleman and go directly to the source?

So corporate America who won't hire us Americans because we are not "qualified" or whatever your BS excuse is - payback is a bitch!

Ahahahahahahhahahaah!

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44155283)

How about the real question, since companies are ephemeral entities with no real way to measure their "americanness." Why have we inserted pointless middlemen of contracting companies into our government's process of managing itself. The fact is that it's an internal project, and having developers working for the government wouldn't really cost us much more. We've yoked ourselves to the wagon of privatization, without really caring what that means. I'm not entirely convinced of the value of having entire industries built around providing workers to the government when the government can damn well hire its own employees.

Re:Why? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44155337)

Pretty much that.
What no one thinks about is the for an outside source to provide you with something they have to charge what that costs and profit. Now if you need a single trinket that works, but if you need lots of work done hiring directly can be substantially cheaper. For this kind of thing I would think some direct hire and some contract workers would be best.

Shopping it out has to be the most expensive way to do it.

pretty much required, isn't it? (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44154979)

These kinds of contracts are supposed to be bid out to the lowest bidder.

If that actually happens: people complain that a company like Infosys wins the contract.

If it doesn't happen: people complain that the government is overpaying for IT services, and back up their allegations by quoting a much lower price someone in the private sector got (...from Infosys) as evidence that the government is inefficient.

Re:pretty much required, isn't it? (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44155027)

Is this cost plus or fixed price?

I ask because I suspect the former and that there will be lots of extra costs not factored into the quote. Like rewriting it over and over when the lowest bidder not surprisingly supplies crap.

Re:pretty much required, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155091)

They probably would have given two bids also. A US developed bid, and a Indian developed bid.

Re:pretty much required, isn't it? (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44155167)

Any time my company looks for subcontracting bids, we automatically eliminate companies that are in legal hot water or have other significant reasons to not hire them, like for example if it's primarily outsourced. I hope the media drags this through the fires of hell until they make a different decision.

Re:pretty much required, isn't it? (0)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year ago | (#44155313)

It all depends. If republicans do it, they are killing our economy by sending jobs overseas. If democrats do it, it's a genius move to lower spending.

Re:pretty much required, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155487)

These kinds of contracts are supposed to be bid out to the lowest bidder.

If that actually happens: people complain that a company like Infosys wins the contract.

If it doesn't happen: people complain that the government is overpaying for IT services, and back up their allegations by quoting a much lower price someone in the private sector got (...from Infosys) as evidence that the government is inefficient.

"We gave the work to the lowest bidding US based firm", sounds pretty good to me.

Re:pretty much required, isn't it? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44155779)

There actually are rules on that, but in this case the firm winning the contract was technically a U.S.-based firm, which happens to be a subsidiary of a foreign company.

You could try to prohibit that, but that would cut out a lot of companies that often legitimately bid for contracts, e.g. Siemens USA is the American subsidiary of German-based Siemens. You could alternatively disqualify companies that outsource more than a certain percentage of their work, but that would disqualify a number of US-based firms, too, like IBM.

Re:pretty much required, isn't it? (3, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44155739)

These kinds of contracts are supposed to be bid out to the lowest bidder.

Not necessarily. Another common standard is, "best value."

Cheapest "up front" doesn't always equal cheapest total cost.

Cheapest doesn't necessarily mean you are getting a good deal.

Not pretty much required (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155869)

First, most government-funded constructions projects include a requirement that prevailing wages be paid for work on the project. Second, the lowest bid on any project does not always win; it is often based on significant differences in the way the project would be delivered.

A lot of people complain about a lot of things including overpaying for IT systems, bridges, roads, police, fire departments, etc. Just becuase people complain about high prices does not mean that the prices are actually high.

Prepare Yourselves (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155033)

There is a traitorous element within our government. They are striving for the downfall of the USA. If you are interested there is much more proof than this.

Debasement of the currency.
Erosion of family structure and morals.
Elimination of constitutional rights.
Unchecked corporatism in the Federal government.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/

Re:Prepare Yourselves (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155107)

You forgot the water fluoridation and vaccination conspiracies, Comrade.
 

Re:Prepare Yourselves (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year ago | (#44155441)

they are also preparing....the bigfoot attacks

Groan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155041)

This is too bad. I very much want to see the new healthcare plan succeed. Now the conservatives are going to say "See? See? Told you it doesn't work! No one deserves reasonably priced healthcare. Let The Free Market sort it out."

And to be clear, it wouldn't have been much different if the contract were awarded to IBM, Accenture, etc. The problem is the level of abstraction that an outsourcer adds to the project. Having the coders offshore just makes it worse.

I've been on a couple of Infosys projects in the past (both as a third party contractor and an FTE) and for the most part, they're just like any other outsourcer -- super-expensive, taking forever to do anything, etc. Code quality was garbage, just like any other firm . Indian or not, that's the root of the problem. Everything can be done cheaper in-house, but the accounting tricks employed by business make it expensive to have FTEs.

Re:Groan (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155309)

You know, I know the argument tends to reach fever pitches of hysterics on both sides, but the core reasons for not undertaking government sponsored health-care is because ultimately it makes promises that the government won't be able to deliver on in the long run.

It has little do do with "deserving health care" or "not being communists".

The fact is that health care is a gigantic black hole that you can pay for while things are good, but sooner or later, something happens and flushes it down the toilet. Demographic collapse is already threatening to destroy pensions. Consider what happens when all your old people live even longer, but are still retired and getting government supported health care, but there are fewer workers to pay for it.

Hopefully, our efficiency will get that much better than we can support them, but the reality is that the market appears to be evening out labor cost disparities by flooding production into markets where labor has a low cost due to years of artificially protecting wages of First World workers.

Fully utilizing and improving the lot of poorer countries and their people is helping humanity overall in the long run, but until wages even out, those who were sailing on top of artificially produced wage disparities are going to suffer a loss of standard of living.

So, in the end, the fact is that while everyone wants free or "better" health care, just legislating it into existence doesn't actually make it work, at least not in the long run. Some of us would prefer that we didn't make promises that we can't responsibly keep in the long run, and would prefer to hold the line at something like meaningful reform to improve efficiency.

Personally, I see government health care, and its eventual failure as something that could throw the country into complete chaos and even rebellion. It would be sad indeed if we ended up in a bloody revolution and eventual dictatorship simply because we couldn't avoid destroying ourselves with "bread and circuses". I know that seems a little alarmist, but look at the past and understand that revolutions like that happen when governments start writing checks that can't be cashed, but the people are accustomed to expecting that these issues will be handled by the government, and they are angered when their needs aren't met to their expectations. In retrospect, I wonder if perhaps it is already too late, and if the time to stop this was before we even developed this reliance on government.

3rd party health care was failing any ways (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44155763)

where you had sick people being drooped / hit with bills with 400%-500%+ markup and other bs like they coded it the wrong way so we will not pay.

health care places that take your money for years and when you get really sick they look back and say you had a zit 20years ago so it's a pre existing condition and you are not covered.

mini med planes that don't cover jack shit it you do get sick.

When you switch jobs you have to change health plans.

The obamacare is not the best idea but it's a good starting point and it does fix some issues and shits other stuff around. As for the 29 hour rule places have been doing stuff like that for years. But is it the best way to fix that? Maybe it should have a higher bar or at least be setup to go after the walmarts that just about dump there works on to medicaid.

What an inflammatory submission (5, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#44155053)

Obamacare + foreign workers = WIN! (for you click-whoring editors)

By this logic, probably every government IT project has some element of either outsourced labor or parts manufactured overseas. Right now, I'm trying to find an article that I can reduce to a headline with big tits, gun rights, and failed Bush foreign policy in it...

Re:What an inflammatory submission (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44155241)

Obamacare + foreign workers = WIN! (for you click-whoring editors)

Transparent click-bait for sure.

...reduce to a headline with big tits

Nobody wants to hear more about Karl Rove.

Dey took are jerbs!!! (5, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44155059)

It would be great if immigration policy could be decided based on something other than the interests of suppressing wages and controlling the workforce.

Agribusiness loves cheap labor from Mexico. Keep 'em coming, but keep that deportation threat over their heads so they don't get uppity about those "wages" and "working conditions" things.

Then the wealthiest companies America need tech workers and don't want to pay American wages. Since they can't pile in illegals to run the data centers, get those h1bs rammed through congress. There we go, cheap tech workers who are nice and easy to control because they don't want to get deported after two weeks if they lose their job.

Feudalism. Fascism. Whatever, it's a racket.

Re:Dey took are jerbs!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155257)

Correct. Now what are we going to do about it?

Re:Dey took are jerbs!!! (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#44155823)

Ummm....get worked up about whether or not Paula Deen called Kanye and Kim Kardashian's potentially gay-marrying baby a certain 6-letter word?

Re:Dey took are jerbs!!! (2)

some old guy (674482) | about a year ago | (#44155375)

Yep yup. Funny how our chronically dysfunctional Congress always seems to come together when it comes to pandering to their Big Biz masters and sell the American dream ever farther down the river, while their media buddies keep John Q. Public preoccupied with single-issue zealotry (abortion, LGBT, 2nd Amendment, w/e) or benumbed with network television.

If one must vote in this charade in hope of change, vote Green or Purple or Pink, anything but Red or Blue. Reinstalling the perpetrators only prolongs the agony.

Re:Dey took are jerbs!!! (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#44155867)

Feudalism. Fascism.

Funny, I read the second one as Federalism.

Re:Dey took are jerbs!!! (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44155971)

Dey took are jerbs!!!

Agribusiness loves cheap labor from Mexico. Keep 'em coming, but keep that deportation threat over their heads so they don't get uppity about those "wages" and "working conditions" things.

You're hardly the one to complain. You apparently outsource your "Comment Subject" writing to the Caribbean, Jamaica, from the looks of it, or maybe Minnesota [youtube.com] .

No worries man!

Does it matter who does this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155147)

Everyone, except for small companies, is using H-1b programmers. InfoSys, Tata, and the like have discovered that an American front company can get them past the "we want to support American companies" view of business so they started buying up their American competitors.

Since we can't get away from foreign programmers, then we need to ensure that the job they do is good. What the D.C. and the U.S. really need are decent lawyers who won't let something like this become a honeypot that any vendor can raid as they see fit. If InfoSys makes a bid, they should have to live up to it.

LOL..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155161)

My comment subject says it all...

Surprised? Shouldn't be! (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#44155221)

The people in power have been outsourcing everything possible to off shore work, against the law in many cases (several pieces of DOD work have been outsourced to South American countries). The only thing they are trying to keep local are the people needed to implement a police state when desired.

You only need to look at what they are doing and compare that to the state of our economy to figure out that they want the country to collapse. They are trying as hard as they can to make it collapse without being obviously criminal.

Re:Surprised? Shouldn't be! (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year ago | (#44155483)

companies are trying to reduce their labor costs and have enough money to lobby the government. They don't care about the citizens of any of these countries, it is a means to an end.

Re:Surprised? Shouldn't be! (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#44155619)

What I mentioned is not a private company, this is the US Government shitting on US Citizens. The difference is huge!

These should be American contracts (2)

TomR teh Pirate (1554037) | about a year ago | (#44155223)

You want American corporations such as Google and Apple to get these so that they can later dodge the income taxes rather than giving the contracts out to foreign companies who contribute nothing to the American tax coffers.

new reality (4, Insightful)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | about a year ago | (#44155397)

US companies do business in India? Wait.. To get in there you have to fight to pass innumerable hurdles thrown in your way.
How about China?

If the world was a level playing field, I'd probably be ok with the H1 Visa scam bullshit. But I'm not (and I'm a Brit in the UK). Globalisation is fine, I have no problem with it in its bassic capitalist basis. But it has to cut both ways. If China and India get to grow their middle class by working on US workload, then US companies should have the same access to do the same in China and India.

I watch real time each week. Its somewhat weird seeing the slagging off the republicans get there. The dems in the US seem very very friendly to immigration, and to globalisation, and seem to take a lot of funding from the Apple and 'Media' funding. In the meantime on an observational level, seems to me the bone marrow of America - the middle class person is under seige. I can't fundamentally understand off shoring, from a business perspective. Even in raw capitalists terms - eroding the middle class is eroding away your own customer base long term.

Globalisation in the west now seems to be 'worry about the H1 visa holders', and immigrants, and 3rd world - more than your own people. Screw them. Very strange way to proceed.

Its ok to have a concern about minorities and immigrants, but its got strangely out of kilter.

Re:new reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44156005)

As a CEO, you don't get raided based on long term performance. You get rated based on quarterly/annual growth. Companies ran by their founders are often different, as they want the company to survive so they can leave their legacy. CEO's for hire, just want to cash out.

want obamacare to fail? this would be the way (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year ago | (#44155477)

spagetti code that does not work is what they just purchased.

Enough is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155513)

This government and administration is the most corrupt, unpatriotic bunch of criminals to ever curse this country. This is even more proof they do not care about America and Americans, only what is cheaper to pass their projects. They will slowly start outsourcing everything while there are competent American firms who could do this even better. When will people wake up and storm the gates?

What a great way to create jobs (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year ago | (#44155527)

I also loved the the Martin Luther King statue was done in China

Why does this surprise anyone? (-1, Troll)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#44155549)

Obama is the most conservative president the US has had in the past 30 years, and possibly in all of time. This is exactly in line with everything else he has done to produce more money for the wealthiest Americans while under the conservative guise of "it's good for everyone else too". He has consistently chosen the kinds of fiscally conservative actions that Bush Jr, Bush Sr, Reagan, and Nixon all could only dream about.

Why not an American firm... (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | about a year ago | (#44155583)

I know Booz Hamilton has at least one opening.

Hmm....H1-B you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155693)

Interesting the massive push from the government to allow more H1-B visas the last few months.......

49.5 million is not a large government contract. (1)

Ryyuajnin (862754) | about a year ago | (#44155799)

I would estimate that between 50-200 people would be actively involved in this project, and probably shouldn't be thought of as "Large", or even "Larger". Furthur, any US government contract 100 million, in my experience, would never be classified as "Large". This is simply anti-political sensationalism.

Re:49.5 million is not a large government contract (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year ago | (#44155957)

If it is so small, then it would not cost much more to do it domestically. This is a disgrace.

part of the issue is HR and the schools / training (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44155847)

part of the issue is HR and the schools / training.

When you have HR doing stuff some time it's not even that they are looking for a H1-B it's just that they don't know about IT when setting the job posting.

Like listing each skills that IT may use or even stuff that they only touch 1-2 times a year or maybe even 1-2 times in 3-5 years and say we want people with 5 exp, saying that we want EXP with tool X and passing over people with tool Y that is just about the same thing or even when tool X is easy to pickup.

Thinking that CS = IT when it does not.

Passing over the tech / trades schools / even in house training that have much less skill gaps then what a CS school gives people.

Passing over people who do it contracting even when lot's of IT work is contracting or thought staffing firms.

Some even it's when PHB are running IT and don't know about IT so they look for key words / say I want X done in Z time and when real IT people say that can't be done they go to H1-B firm that says we can do that even when it ends up going over Z time.

Another day, another dumb idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44155871)

Yesterday before bed I thought, gee our worthless goverment heads just can't have much more stupid ideas to screw their IT workers. After all there's lots of high-tech US workers needing jobs. So.. get up, fire up the Winshit puter and.... Obumacare farms out IT work offshore... WTF !!

Obamacare? (1)

tragedy (27079) | about a year ago | (#44155947)

Is Obamacare the official name for this healthcare reform package? Somehow I don't think it is. It's not very good legislation. It's definitely not healthcare done right. But using the term "Obamacare" still seems to smack of bias, especially when you consider that main details of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are implementations of the Heritage Foundation's plan that the Republicans were pushing back when the US was trying to get meaningful healthcare reform. US politics seems to be driven by short memories and nasty, hypocritical backstabbing.

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