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Oregon closer to suing Oracle over Obamacare website woes

Chris Kanaracus | June 19, 2014
Oregon is taking more steps toward suing Oracle over its work on the state's disastrous health-insurance exchange website, Cover Oregon.

The smell of politics is hovering in the air around Cover Oregon, according to one observer.

"Everybody in the business is used to getting well paid for participating in disasters, and there's usually not much downside to it," said Jon Fred, a partner with Adaptive Growth, a consulting firm that offers what it calls a superior way to collect software project requirements, via email Tuesday. "When it's elected officials that are left holding the bag, though, suddenly there's an upside to sharing the blame, something that doesn't happen nearly as much in business."

Indeed, Kitzhaber is up for re-election this year and his poll numbers have sagged of late as the Cover Oregon debacle rages on.

Meanwhile, Oracle's stance that it was solely a hired gun can be held up to some scrutiny in court, according to Brooks Hilliard, a consultant and expert witness who has testified extensively in litigation over troubled software projects. "Even if that's all they agreed to do, they certainly have some responsibility to manage their hourly consultants professionally."

 

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