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HIX Data Hub Readiness Questioned by Lawmakers

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, September 12, 2013

Daly explained that her office would have to review the related work documents before she could make any assessment.

Several committee members asked about the availability of documentation that could inform Congress and the general public of the efficacy of the system and the results of testing.

Daly replied that her department focused on the security of the hub and not how well the hub functioned. "That was beyond our scope. We understood that GAO would could that aspect."

Several committee members, and one witness, took exception to the data hub testing process being performed by an independent contractor—although contracting for this type of work is not uncommon.

"Speaking for myself, I never relied on a contractor to give complete assurance" on the efficacy of a process," stated Michael J. Astrue, who served as Social Security Commissioner under the Bush and Obama administrations. He left the office in February 2013.

"The OIG is set up to make independent assessments. I am outraged that you would rely on a contractor [for] complete assurance."

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