SALEM, Ore. – Cover Oregon director Bruce Goldberg has resigned, Gov. John Kitzhaber said during his press conference on Thursday at which he released the results of an investigation into the troubled website.
Goldberg, who was head of the Oregon Health Authority while the website was being built, took over after Rocky King stepped aside in December.
The announcement came as Kitzhaber discussed what he called “very credible and very sobering” report from First Data.
“I am angry and I am disappointed by the rollout of Cover Oregon,” he said.
Among the problems the report outlined were a fundamental breakdown in project management; an overly ambitious scope; mistrust between Cover Oregon and OHA; and problems with software developer Oracle.
As the On Your Side Investigators have reported, many of the problems in the $228,000 investigation had already been highlighted by Maximus, the quality assessment firm that reviewed the project as it went along.
Failure to listen to Maximus was among the problems, Kitzhaber said.
“Key project management became desensitized to the QA report,” he said.
Kitzhaber said the state is still figuring out what comes next. Oracle has pulled much of its staff off the project after threatening to walk away altogether.
“We are not satisfied with the work we got from Oracle,” Kitzhaber said. “We have no intention of paying $26 million for work that has still not produced a functioning website.
“We are pursuing whatever legal means might be available to us.”
The state is still looking at linking up to the federal exchange, he said.
Kitzhaber said the state will review its current IT projects, as well as the way it conducts its procurement. Oracle’s unusual contract with the state allowed it to bill on what was essentially a time and materials plan, rather than charging the state a set fee for work delivered.
Kitzhaber refused to directly blame Goldberg – who will stay on until a replacement is hired, but won’t remain on with the state in any capacity after that – or Carolyn Lawson, the former OHA CIO who has since resigned.
Goldberg said in January that Lawson, his former subordinate and former Cover Oregon director Rocky King had led him and others to believe the website would be completed by its scheduled Oct. 1 go-live date.
“I don’t think we were misled,” Kitzhaber said. “I think we were given information that led us to believe that this project was going to be done on time.”
Kitzhaber’s office commissioned the investigation and reviewed it for nearly two weeks before releasing it to the general public. The feds’ Government Accountability Office has announced its own investigation, which could take months.
Kitzhaber said he welcomed the GAO investigation.
“We had a very inspirational but, as it turns out, unrealistic project,” he said.
Full coverage of the troubled Cover Oregon website:
- Cover Oregon: Still pushing for deadline extension
- Oregon tied for last in nation for young-adult health-insurance sign-ups
- Cover Oregon: Apply now if you want health insurance this year
- Federal government announces Cover Oregon investigation
- Former Cover Oregon director says 'all of us' share blame for failures
- Top Cover Oregon official refuses to discuss Lawson resignation
- Official: Oracle not allowing Cover Oregon probe access to 6 employees
- Trouble with Cover Oregon? You may still get federal tax credits
- Cover Oregon website developer pulls 100 worker off project
- Ex-Cover Oregon website chief: 'I stuck to the talking points ... they were not accurate'
- High-level IT consultant on Cover Oregon: 'They didn't know what they were doing'
- New Cover Oregon allegations: 'If it's true, someone's going to prison.'
- Paging Dr. Kitzhaber: What did the governor know about Cover Oregon collapse?
- State rep., U.S. Senate candidate calls for the end of Cover Oregon
- Cover Oregon head: State might scrap all or part of failing website
- State lawmakers to grill Cover Oregon chief
- Family struggles to sign up for insurance through Cover Oregon
- First legal complaint filed over health enrollment mistakes
- Democratic state lawmaker believes Cover Oregon can be saved
- Contractor plans to examine why Cover Oregon failed
- 'We look like fools:' A history of Cover Oregon's failure
- State rep: Ditch Cover Oregon in favor of federal exchange
- Video: Exclusive Interview: Gov. John Kitzhaber - Cover Oregon 1/9/2014
- Gov. denies prior knowledge of Cover Oregon failure, exits exclusive KATU interview
- Kitzhaber outlines Cover Oregon's next steps: 'I can't give you a date'
- Kitzhaber: Firm will review Cover Oregon failures
- Cover Oregon applications left in limbo?
- Man with cancer waiting on Cover Oregon, gets insured
- Man with cancer still waiting on Cover Oregon
- New calls for Cover Oregon to take responsibility for project failures
- Rocky King, director of troubled Cover Oregon, resigns
- Salem man says Cover Oregon error left him in health care limbo
- Some question if they'll be covered by Cover Oregon in the new year
- What doomed Cover Oregon? 'Mismanagement,' say former employees
- After resigning, Lawson not talking about Cover Oregon website failures
- Ore. health official in charge of building Cover Oregon website resigns
- Fewer enrollments challenge Oregon exchange budget
- Executive director of Cover Oregon taking medical leave
- Cover Oregon considers new solutions
- Kitzhaber calls for independent review of Cover Oregon
- New emails show Cover Oregon unraveling in days before launch
- Emails: Cover Oregon executive knew about website problems in May
- Cover Oregon complicated by state's grand vision
Gov. John Kitzhaber's Thursday news conference: