A computer success story

November 14, 2013 

As I listened to the House hearing with some of the contractors involved in the development of Obamacare, I was appalled. Fifty-five different contractors worked on the system with apparently little guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services. All the ingredients for failure were built in.

For 15 years I was deputy director of computer applications for the Military Airlift Command at Scott Air Force Base. I was responsible for the design, programming, implementation and maintenance of all computer systems used in the running of the command, some of which were extremely complex. In those 15 years we never had a system failure thanks to the talented people who worked there.

In these days when federal employees are being denigrated I would like to make a case for those who worked in my directorate at Scott. Never have I met such a group of dedicated, conscientious and self-sacrificing people. Most of them worked many hours overtime for which they were paid not one cent over their base salary or given any time off. No one ordered them to work overtime; they just saw the need and did the job.

Many times national security was at risk. We had computers in many states and territories and in 11 foreign countries, which necessitated a lot of extended travel. I don't know anything about the IRS or EPA but the people who worked in our directorate at Scott were and are the salt of the earth.

Leon Anderson


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