Re: Oracle blameless in Oregon health insurance exchange fiasco?
There is plenty of blame to go around to plenty of people and organizations, including Oracle. While it's easy to point fingers months later, from hundreds of miles away, it's infuriating to once again see taxpayers' money flung around with abandon and seemingly little oversight until it's way too late. As we've seen in many other cases of failed government implementations, it appears the goalposts kept moving. Both the implementer -- in this case Oracle -- and the executive overseeing the solution -- in this case Oregon's CIO -- should have been firmer in adhering to a strict definition of what the site would and would not do, at least in its first iteration. Adding features throughout the process only makes it impossible to succeed within budget and deadline.
It makes no sense nowadays to ignore the availability of open source, commercial applications that get you at least halfway to your goal. Why do states or other government entities continue trying to reinvent the wheel? It's more expensive, takes way more time to create, and costs more to support. Using existing software, you save time and money, and also have add-on options, a wider talent pool, and lower development/support costs.
If the Oregon CIO was, indeed, seeking an Oracle job that should surely go against existing ethics laws in the state. If not, I'd recommend Oregon add a law preventing executives from working for a company they were able to hire within a year (or longer) of leaving their government position. They could, perhaps, have workarounds but would have to prove they didn't talk jobs until long after the contract was signed, for example.