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The Almighty Buck Businesses United States

D.C. Awards Obamacare IT Work To Offshore Outsourcer 402

Posted by samzenpus
from the cheap-labor dept.
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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D.C. Awards Obamacare IT Work To Offshore Outsourcer

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  • by Moryath (553296) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:00AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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
      • That is a good question. I would have been willing to do it for half that price, but they didn't ask me.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Immigration is fine. if a company needs to hire a foreign worker who plans to immigrate, let them help with the green card and get that process started.

        Given how some employers scream for more H1-Bs, you'd think they'd be sponsoring a ton of immigrants and green cards, but for some reason they are only interested in more H1-B.

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      what's the argument?

    • by Jawnn (445279)

      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."

      More crazy talk from the left-wing, socialist, protectionist, wacko crowd. Ain't you not heard? This here's a global econuhmy now, and if we can't compete by sending U.S. jobs overseas, or by flooding the labor market with thousands of cheap imports, Wall Street will collapse. And you don't want that on your conscience now, do you? The nerve! To suggest that American business actually spend money on a quality domestic labor force. What kind of fantasy world do you pinko's live in?

    • by tgd (2822)

      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."

      Here's the reality, though -- Infosys is one of the real big outsourcing companies that is used by most of the very large software companies in the US.

      As a software worker, I think better for this to go to a US company, but the work would likely be done largely by Infosys or another similar company. As a taxpayer, I'd rather the savings on the development go to me, than padding the profits of a government contractor.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Monday July 01, 2013 @02:05PM (#44157409)

      Here's a thought, suspend the H-1B visas and educate or retrain US citizens to take those jobs. Corporate America keeps exclaiming that the H-1B visa process is expensive and the only reason they go that route is that they can't find qualified US applicants. Well, use those funds to train your own employees. Then, when the US is at full employment (at whatever that rate really is), if more workers are needed, then bring them in.

      A large percentage of college graduates are not gainfully employed in the fields they studied, including STEM. It is hard to argue, that we need to import more STEM workers when we can't even employ the recent graduates. But maybe it has to do with that new math, you know the kind where you can build wealth in America by creating jobs overseas and importing workers for the rest of the jobs here.

      What was that called by Reagan? Trickle down economics, where the majority of the population trickles further down the system so the few at the top can accumulate the wealth. If it costs corporations too much to hire trained labor, then either train them yourself (as in the past), cut dividends and executive pay, or find a different line of work. After all, isn't that how economics is supposed to work?

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:04AM (#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.

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:10AM (#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.

    • 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.
    • by cold fjord (826450) on Monday July 01, 2013 @12:09PM (#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.

      • I've made a living cleaning up after these clowns (Infosys, not the government, well not directly anyways). So when the money runs out, and/or you get tired of shoveling money at them, feel free to give me ring. They excel at playing shell games with resources you just trained to proficiency or completed KT sessions with. Deadlines are often met with rehashed code form other projects or dummy code (always love digging through forms and procedures to find its hard coded to NULL or finding code that has the
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:12AM (#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...

    • 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.

  • by meta-monkey (321000) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:12AM (#44155059) Journal

    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.

    • 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 a

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Feudalism. Fascism.

      Funny, I read the second one as Federalism.

    • 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!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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 ra

  • 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 bein

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      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.
      • by s.petry (762400)

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

  • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:41AM (#44155397) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by tragedy (27079)

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

      You have to understand that, while H1-B visas can be a way to immigrate, and can be a path to naturalization, they don't really exist due to concern for immigrants. They exist because the US is kind of xenophobic and hostile to immigrants. H1-B visas are a method of creating an underclass of what are essentially indentured servants strung along with the carrot and stick.

    • by Tailhook (98486)

      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.

      There are no innocents. Agribusiness wants (and gets) millions of pickers wandering the land unfettered by the INS. Industrialists want (and get) finished goods flowing from third world hell-holes to a Walmart near you without any burdensome tariffs or port authority inconveniences. Gentry liberals incentivise all of this with BANANA policies, pulling up the ladder and adopting ever greater levels of environmental rigor while evacuating our industry to Asia.

      Right now we are building new, larger Panama lo

  • spagetti code that does not work is what they just purchased.
  • I also loved the the Martin Luther King statue was done in China
  • I know Booz Hamilton has at least one opening.
  • 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 pick

  • 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 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday July 01, 2013 @01:57PM (#44157307) Journal
    They know the spec game inside out, right side left and top side down. They will implement a totally useless piece of software and when you complain they will insist they have implemented exactly what was in the original contract. That archaic grammar book by Wren and Martin [wikipedia.org] is God's gift to them. They will endlessly argue what is meant by "shall" and "may" and "will". Most high school teachers in India still swear by this book as the ultimate authority in English grammar. So you will be forced to amend and correct the original specs. That will trigger all sorts of revised estimates and revised costs, and by the time you are done, you would have spent about 50% more than your highest bidder, taken twice as long, and gotten yourself software that does 50% of what you want, and probably 75% of what you wrote in the spec sheet but 100% of exactly what is in the spec sheet according to Messrs Wren and Martin as interpreted by Infosys.
  • by multimediavt (965608) on Monday July 01, 2013 @03:31PM (#44158655)
    I saw, "D.C. Awards Obamacare IT Work To Offshore Outsourcer" and immediately thought, IBM?

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