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Oregon Sues Oracle Over Failed Healthcare Website
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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
8/22/2014 | 6:01:27 PM
Reminiscent of Montclair State?
Not sure Oracle and public agencies are a good mix. Once there's a falling out, the feelings on both sides are quite militant and prone to litigation. The case is very different, but the tone, and Oracle's own militancy, is reminiscent of its dispute with Montclair State University in N.J.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/22/2014 | 6:04:33 PM
Governor Kitzhaber statement on lawsuit against Oracle over health insurance website
Just saw this from the governor's press office

Governor Kitzhaber today released the following statement in response to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and the Oregon Department of Justice filing suit against Oracle:

"When I asked the Attorney General in May to take legal action against Oracle, I thought it was important to hold the company accountable and recover taxpayers' dollars for its flawed and incomplete work. We were all aware of Oracle's poor performance and failure to deliver a working website for Cover Oregon.

Today, after months of investigation, the Attorney General's findings go well beyond disappointing and incomplete work. The complaint filed contains serious new allegations of fraud, deceit, and corruption by Oracle. The details of the complaint, including the admissions of former Oracle employees, are appalling to me.

I fully support the Attorney General's actions against Oracle. I will provide whatever is necessary to protect Oregon taxpayers and hold Oracle accountable." 
rcrutchlowl6m
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rcrutchlowl6m,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/23/2014 | 11:28:02 AM
Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.
Most public institutions ... by that I mean government institutions, are generally quite proficient at the operation, management and support of complex IT infrasructures.  It is not that often that the definition, contracting, resource planning, project management and delivery of large IT initiatives such as Cover Oregon is thrust upon them. As such, the mind set, let alone the internal expertise to successfully implement such systems is generally not up-to-par.

That, of course is the raison d'être for SIs, at least the good ones. They constantly live (and die) for large, intricate development and integration projects and therefore are able to supply the high level of specialized expertise and methodologies necessary for project success. Neither the State of Oregon or Oracle, as far as I can see, had the ability, either practically or contractually, to act as a sytems integrator for Cover Oregon. Consequently, a lot of the critical design, management and implementation details were missed (or ignored).

Cover Oregon was a mission critical project that from Day 1 was under heavy public scrutiny, budgetary pressures and punishing deadlines.  It appears that responsibility and, most importantly, accountability was not properly articulated at the outset in the design and contractural obligations phases.

Cover Oregon is a poingent reminder to all organizations contemplating large, mission critical, public facing IT initiatives: "Buyer beware of your own ability to screw things up"  (D. Henschen).
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/24/2014 | 2:04:33 PM
Re: Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.
We already know that the chance of IT projects to fail is huge.  Now that this problem went to court it is going to leave a bitter taste for both parties.   It will be interesting to know whether other companies based on this precedent will in other states be reluctant to work with IT companies for large projects.
zaious
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zaious,
User Rank: Moderator
8/25/2014 | 1:52:45 AM
Re: Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.
It is gettign complicated. Sueing and counterign with another one is not somethign that we want to see between two parties that worked together in past. The legal procedures are expensive and lengthy -it sucks out the fun out of the IT.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
8/25/2014 | 11:22:09 AM
Re: Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.
The only group of people which benefits in such situations are the lawyers. Who know how much they will be making so that they can defend their customer's arguments in court.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/25/2014 | 10:45:22 AM
Re: Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.
The state's explanation that it was somehow fast-talked into letting Oracle act as de facto system integrator (without ever writing that obligation into the contract) strikes me as lame and legally questionable.
rcrutchlowl6m
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rcrutchlowl6m,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/25/2014 | 12:11:39 PM
Re: Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.

Disclosure: I am an old X-Oraclite (Pres/COO - Oracle Canada). One thing that I knew is that Oracle always had (and still has) good lawyers.

I suspect the contract that Oracle accepted was very specific regarding their obligations and deliverables. There was, as I understand it, multiple sub-contractors over which Oracle exercised little or no responsibility or control. That responsibility falls within the purview of the project lead, that is, the State of Oregon.

This project implosion was not simply, as Oregon would have us believe, due to a single point of failure (i.e. Oracle). It was a massive, systemic failure across the whole project that was the result of incredibly poor planning, system design, project management and delivery. The fact that Oracle would have allowed this project to degrade to such a dysfunctional state is mind-boggling and certainly does not look good on them and in that they bear a great deal of responsibility. Similarily, the State of Oregon certainly can't adopt the "We were mislead" defense. That just makes them look incompetent and totally inept.

I suspect the litigation and counter litigation will be tied up in nebulous change orders and poorly or un-documented and articulated project direction. The project, while large and complex, did not require any wildly advanced IT innovation.

No winners here (especiially Oregon taxpayers) except the lawyers and MBA case studies.

Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/25/2014 | 2:15:36 PM
Re: Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.
I completely agree with you about the integral part a high-quality, experienced systems integrator plays in initiatives like Cover Oracle. Nobody would start a business project with a project manager. Yet we keep seeing instances of rudderless technology initiatives at state and federal levels. It's not as if there's a dearth of good SIs out there. Sure, the failures make news (and they should), but there are many, many successes.
rcrutchlowl6m
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rcrutchlowl6m,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/25/2014 | 2:55:20 PM
Re: Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.

If, and that is a really big IF, the State of Oregon allowed or specifically directed Oracle to assume overall project responsibility as SI then they were truly ... um ... unsophisticated. They essentially asked the Rabbit to carry the lettuce.

Similarily, if, and that is a really big IF, Oracle campaigned and sold the State of Oregon on their ability to not only manage the design and implementation from a technical perspective but to also integrate the activities of numerous sub-contractors and the myriad business processes then they are likely culpable of over-promising and under-delivering.

Either way or both, it is certainly one ugly baby ... or possibly twins!

Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/25/2014 | 4:36:27 PM
Re: Cover Oregon vs. Oracle Corp.
Very funny -- and quite right, @rcrutchlow. I like the rabbit/lettuce analogy... much cuter than cat among the pigeons or fox in the henhouse -- and perhaps accurate. No doubt we'll discover more details of the contract's wording as the case moves along.
LindaJoyAdams
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LindaJoyAdams,
User Rank: Guru
8/23/2014 | 4:12:54 PM
ILLEGAL OFFLINE SYSTEMS EXPOSED?
How could the new systems not 'crash.' I discovered years ago that  some  Partners of the govt programs have been creating illegal offline systems (like Madoff used to fool the SEC) to skim and scam the public and create and manipulate information. I only had 17 Medicare numbers creeted on me  and that partnert is still a govt contractor  with  $4 millln dollar theft  and the call center emplyees who helped document this estimated a tirilion dollar theft in at last two regions and giving the evidence to HHS OIG  was responded to with we are not allowed to investigiate a partner of Medicare. US Atrtorneys; can not do anything unless there is a federal law enforcer ad HHS blocied SSA and FTC from getting the FBI cyber crimes people in.  And what else has gone on> I onlhy foundout as one doctor;s biller was told my number had been changed ot a phony NS AS ONE WHO HAS DONE MEDICaRE FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS IN THE PAST, KNEW CRIMES BEING COMMITTED AND BEGAN INVESIGIATING. TP NOP AVIAL TO THIS DAY. In my case WHEN WE COULDL REALLY DO THEM. MEDICARE is not a pirmary payer, but even to this day Emblm Health  who owns the Common Working file all use to  bill, has ones pirmary employer greourp health plan deleted soon after employers and govt agencies postt he information. AND NO ONE IS NOTIFED OF THIS. A bill just arrived for a co  ay for a dependent on my   plan and it did not get paid  as the info was deleted.   HHS had our evidence before the law was passed  and did nothing as they keep saying Congress will not let them sped any money on criemnal invesitigaitons of govt contractors,. THE FIRST THING I LEARNED AOBUT COMPUTERS WHEN I FIRST SAT DOWN AT ONE IN THE LATW 1960S WAS IT CAN ADD AND SUBTRACT AND  it will crash when the info coming in frim all sources 'DOES NOT COMPUTE" The cloud  is going to crash many times over, in my un expert opinion until all the illegal  DEALS TO DUMP BILLS ONTO A GOVT PLAN  is finally investigated and stopped. The govt does not know as no real internal audits have been done for  about 20 years.  GOT TO STOP THE THEFTS FIRST, THEN SYSTEMS MIGHT BE ABLE TO WORK AS THEY SHOULD.  THE ALL SEEING EYE OF THE CLOUD KNOW WHAT YOU ARE ILLEGALLY DOING AND DOESN'T LIKE IT.   These illegal acts  have created real Death  Panels as ones doctor has no idea whom to bill or ask perisison from to OK treatment and more of this will be going on.   The media keeps misisng the bigger stories on these. Like at the VA. Who designed a system that allowed a deletion without a letter confirming it going out to the vet whose appt got cancelled without their knowledge? Asking them if they would like to reschedule. No one has asked that question at all. But knowing  what due process is to be programmed into govt systems means a new law got passed and the real underlying systems problems never got addressed. Taxpayers keep on paying good money after bad and  illegal acts keep going on.  So the states are starting to sue and will those even get to the real issues of a coup that has occurred where getitng a govt contract means no onersight, no accountability to any laws? We get potical rhetoric and no actions  and software contractors being lied to about what is really going on that will cause the new systems not to work as THEY CAN ADD.  AND I AM ONE PERSON AND NOT 17 is just one example. Linda Joy Adams

 

 

 
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
8/25/2014 | 8:48:36 PM
angry customer
As an Oregon resident, I'm happy that someone is held accountable. specially, if that someone is Oracle.
The website was not user friendly. Tried to sign up a few times, but it failed.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 3:14:32 PM
Oracle is having the brunt of the work process
It will be interesting to see the culminations ofthese court battles where one party blames the other for each other's failure. Oracle's suit did place blame for the botched Oregon's ObamaCare website on the state, claiming that Oregon failed to employ a "Systems Integrator" to run the company's work on the website.

The state has been threatening to sue Oracle for a long time now and it eventually happened, shifting the blame to Oregon saying that the company advised the state not to hire a "Systems Integrator" and instead soughtOracle Consulting Services to work out the integration and management of the project. There will be twists and turns, but not welcome for Oracle.


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