CONCORD — Under Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein’s tenure as chief executive officer, Science Applications International Corp. engaged in contracts valued at more than $80 million to help the federal government implement the Affordable Care Act.
So far, contracts totaling about $5.3 million have been reported.
But the New Hampshire Journal has confirmed a SAIC was awarded a $78 million contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in February 2012. It was announced by SAIC on Feb. 27, 2012, a few days before Havenstein retired.
The Havenstein campaign did not dispute the Journal’s reporting on the contract and said, as it has said in the past, that it is an example of Havenstein fulfilling his business responsibilities when he was CEO of the information technology support government contractor.
“I would reiterate what we have said before about this,” said Havenstein campaign spokesman Henry Goodwin. “And that is that Walt is opposed to and has always been opposed to Obamacare. All this illustrates is that the personal political viewpoints and the business responsibilities of a chief executive are not the same.”
But in October 2012, Federal News Radio reported:
“CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has several mandates under the Affordable Care Act and (CMS chief information officer Tony) Trenkle said HHS and CMS executives saw an opportunity to share instead of pursuing individual investments that the department may not have been able to afford anyways. Trenkle said CMS already supported several identity management programs so consolidating them into one that serves HHS would be helpful and save money….
“CMS awarded SAIC in February (2012) a five-year, $78 million contract to provide enterprise remote identity proofing and multi-factor authentication credential services. SAIC said the technology will integrate the identity proofing and credential provisioning and minimize the risk of fraud.”
Also, SAIC lobbied Congress on the Health and Human Services budget for IT projects in 2011, with its lobbying report listing, “FY12 HHS Approps, provisions related to the Ntl Institutes for Health, and IT system.”
And Havenstein in August 2011 said on an earnings conference call that SAIC hoped to “become a leading systems integrator and a professional services company in the federal and commercial health markets.”
He said he hoped to “leverage our information integration, data analytics, cyber security, cloud and modeling and simulation capabilities to drive new health solution-based offerings for both federal and commercial health plans and capitalize on new opportunities as federal and commercial health markets converge.”
While Havenstein’s campaign said that the then-CEO was doing his job, his opponent in the GOP Republican primary said the ACA-related activities raised questions.
“How do you claim to oppose a program you accepted more than $80 million dollars to implement?” said Alicia Preston, campaign manager for Andrew Hemingway. “Walt declares his personal beliefs and his responsibilities as an executive are different things. So, his personal beliefs and responsibilities as the executive to New Hampshire would be different? How do we possibly know what kind of governor he would be if we can’t base it on his beliefs.”
Preston said, “He took in more than $80 million from taxpayers to implement Obamacare, a program he claims he has always opposed. Where’s the integrity in that? So, pay enough money and he’ll go against his beliefs? There’s a name for that.”