“The reports [from the contractor] just asserted that they had written X lines of code. . . . For an executive, that’s just invisible; you don’t know what it means,” said Curtis Smith, who oversaw retirement processing from 1989 to 1994. He was a longtime federal employee with a PhD in English literature, supervising a massive technology project.
“I had no idea [if] they were making progress from month to month. And I just sort of took it on faith that they could make it work,” Smith said. “And they never did.”