Oracle to Kitzhaber: We’re not to blame

FILE - Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber in his office in Salem. April 2013. (KOIN 6 News)
FILE - Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber in his office in Salem. April 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The main technology contractor responsible for building Oregon’s failed online health insurance exchange says the governor is unjustly trying to blame it for the Cover Oregon fiasco.

The statement Thursday from Oracle Corp. follows an announcement by Gov. John Kitzhaber that he’s asked Oregon’s attorney general to sue the Redwood City, California-based company.

Kitzhaber admitted that the state shares the blame in the failure of Cover Oregon and continues to hold state agencies and staff accountable, but said he believes it’s time to hold the website’s main technology contractor accountable for its share of the responsibility.

“No, I don’t think they (Oracle Corp.) have [taken any responsibility],” Kitzhaber said. “I think we have certainly held ourselves accountable. We’ve held accountable state agencies. I myself will be held accountable in this job interview I’m pursuing between now and November, and we need to hold them accountable for their share of the responsibility.”

Oregon paid Oracle $134 million in federal funds to build what turned out to be a glitch-filled website. The state abandoned plans for fixing the site and is switching to the federal portal.

Oracle says the state badly mismanaged the project by “consistently failing to deliver requirements in a timely manner and failing to staff the project with skilled personnel.”

The state is still withholding $25.6 million in payments from the company.

KOIN 6 News contributed to this report.

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