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Oracle The Almighty Buck The Courts

Oregon vs. Oracle: the Battle of Blame Heats Up 83

Posted by timothy
from the named-larry-ellison dept.
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The ongoing efforts to assign responsibility for the disastrous attempts to create the Cover Oregon health exchange, the primary contractor for which was Oracle Corporation, have entered a new round, with Governor John Kitzhaber calling on State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to initiate legal action against the firm. Kitzhaber has also sought the help of Washington D.C. in sanctioning Oracle, though Oregon's own management of the project and the terms of their contract with Oracle muddy the waters, considerably. Although the AG's office hasn't committed to filing suit, yet, AG Rosenblum has said, 'I share your determination to recover every dollar to which Oregon is entitled.' Although the outcome of this is uncertain, it is likely heads, both corporate and political, will roll."
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Oregon vs. Oracle: the Battle of Blame Heats Up

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  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Saturday May 31, 2014 @12:49PM (#47136723)

    She did not commit to filing suit, but said, "I share your determination to recover every dollar to which Oregon is entitled."

    You can say a lot of words without promising anything. I particularly like "recover every dollar to which Oregon is entitled". It could be $0 or $1 or $100M, because she didn't mention how much that is in her opinion.

  • Both are to blame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @12:53PM (#47136741) Homepage Journal

    Anytime a large project goes down in flames like this, both the 'company' and the contractor are at fault.

    • I don't know. Having worked for the State of Oregon's data center for several years, it's pretty easy to imagine a scenario where close to 100% of the blame lies with Oregon.
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Even in the case of scope creep, or poor project goals the vendor still is partly at fault for not driving the project.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Shoulda went with SAP
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @01:04PM (#47136803)

    I live in Washington state, and I think we're to blame - at least in part. All those Oregon programmers kept coming north to smoke weed here. I was a bit surprised Oregon didn't have plenty of its own already, given its reputation; but no, you'd see those guys all over the place asking "where can I find the good stuff, man. The GOOD stuff! I need a hookup, man!"

    Our own health insurance exchange did well after the first week - that's when we fired all the stoners and hired every Mormon coder we could find.

    • That was only legalized recently. It's being a state with no state income tax next to a state funded only by state income tax, which has been the ongoing situation for many years. More of the people with brains enough for a high paying job left in Oregon don't care so much about money. Among the smart people left who do care about money, there's doubtless a higher percentage of financial predators feeding on the higher percentage of financial gullibility in the surrounding population. This reinforces th
    • ...that's when we fired all the stoners and hired every Mormon coder we could find.

      I knew porn was conducive to programming!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    stop giving contracts to grifters, also quaintly known as the private sector.

  • Vapor roles (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GregBryant (868930) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @01:42PM (#47137009) Homepage Journal
    Oregon produced an audit of the Oracle Debacle here: http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/docs... [oregon.gov] The audit answered the wrong questions. It accepted the magical notions and vapor roles of Oracle's corporate propaganda. For example, it focuses on the need for a 'systems integrator', as if every engineer should -not- be responsible for integration. The two big problems: 1) The computer industry's current authoritarian obsession with subdivided tasks, specialization, core competence, detailed requirements, 'no surprises' (meaning no good surprises, either), and dogmatic 'best practices' has created a generation of corporate slaves who aren't allowed to use their minds or take responsibility for anything important. 2) Which brings us to motivation. Oracle and other corporate oligarchs only want money. They have no responsibility to do anything else. Maximizing the bill is the sole priority. Three programmers, picked at random, who live in Oregon, and who have friends that need insurance, would have finished this job with FOSS, not proprietary software, in half the time a fraudulent Oracle and a corrupt State's office took to generate a broken system.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      >Three programmers, picked at random, who live in Oregon, and who have friends that need insurance, would have finished this job with FOSS, not proprietary software, in half the time a fraudulent Oracle and a corrupt State's office took to generate a broken system.

      Bullshit. Without specs, it would have ended up exactly the same. Therein lies the issue. Everyone thinks you wave a magic "consultant wand" (or H1b, or outsourcing) and everything just *poof* appears.

      If you don't understand what needs to be do

      • There's nothing magical about developing software without authoritarian relationships. If someone says: 'we need a website that lets everyone shop for the cheapest insurance', a developer without a spec would simply start asking questions. Where does the data come from? Who is allowed to register? How do we inform the insurance company? What are the policy options? How do we know the policies conform to regulation? Seriously, any small unmanaged team of rational programmers would ask these questions. If
  • Oracle is less likely to get future government contracts in other states or levels if they have the reputation for being a drama queen and "difficult", regardless of fault. They may be better off quietly negotiating a compromise and eating some of the costs in the short term. Is the loud approach part of their Ellison bravado culture?

    • Except that Oracle's serial incompetence is hardly new or hardly news. At least to us superior folk here on Slashdot. We've been whining about those idiots long before it became fashionable.

      Still, Larry manages to buy and island and run around on his mega yacht.

      What the hell are we missing here?

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday May 31, 2014 @05:08PM (#47138077)

      Oracle is less likely to get future government contracts in other states or levels if they have the reputation for being a drama queen and "difficult", regardless of fault. They may be better off quietly negotiating a compromise and eating some of the costs in the short term. Is the loud approach part of their Ellison bravado culture?

      You've obviously never done business with Oracle. Oracle has the same attitude about their customers as Microsoft did in the 90s. The just don't fucking care. You HAVE to have them. Everything corporate IT is in some way related to Oracle and Cisco. If you want to use anything else, you need smarter (higher paid) people, software that's not as common, and it's harder to find people that know juniper for example. Oracle knows this, but they overplay their hand. I don't know many people that like Oracle anymore. I know at least 3 companies I've worked with that have sued, and won cases against them. Nearly every contract I've been involved with them in has ended in legal negotiations of some sort. We avoid them like the plague now, but for some things we have no other choice.

  • they also want to dump money into a lawsuit? I don't think they'll recover more from Oracle than they spend suing them.
    • by F34nor (321515)

      They are literally dumping the money because the contract was not based on delivering a 'completed project.' What ever state attorney who did that needs his balls kicked. The governor's assertion that a reasonable person would assume that any project would be completed shows his lack of legal expertise, their are no false advertising claims because a "reasonable person" would have to believe those claims but according to the case law "no reasonable person would believe ANY advertising" therefore, "get fucke

      • I have to think that the "owing to my naive reasonableness, I was duped" argument can't fly very well in a situation where Oregon had an attorney involved in making the contract. Perhaps, in the future, Oregon can use the "we have naive attorneys" advertisement as bait in a sting operation.
  • I'm even more sure that some Oregon bureaucrat probably signed a contract that fails to properly cover their arses.
  • They should fire and sue whoever was stupid enough to even seek a quote from Oracle let alone the person who decided to go with them. Oracle is a bunch of lying, scamming, unintelligent scam artists who go 2-3x over their budget on every large project they have ever worked on in all of human history. Plus, the end result never works correctly. If a contracted suggested I get Oracle to work on a project for my company, I would laugh for about 20 seconds straight then ban them from the project. We even ha
  • stop outsourcing and stop hiring h1b's.

    With outsourcing you get a lot of contractors and subcontractor that at times can be locked into one part of a big project and it times all the layers of PHB's and other stuff may it take time for issues to work there way from one team to an other team.

  • I don't see anyone else commenting on Oracle... they're fucking awful. I've been through EXACTLY what the state of Oregon has with Oracle. The exact same thing happened to me.

    Good luck Oregon. I think dudes sailboat is worth more than your state.

  • As an Oregonian and engineer, I was so surprised when they went the Oracle route. For a situation like this, you've basically started out guaranteeing the result they've seen. Oregon state politics is interesting enough as it is without getting contractual corruption and national party machinery in the mix. I also happen work in the defense industry, where contracts and results like this are practically de rigueur, and it really makes me wonder how blind/naive/ignorant you have to be to expect anything othe

  • Couldn't happen to a nicer company... a company that has become highly litigious and greedy. Certainly a company I won't let in the door.
  • There were no deliverables in the terms Oracle was hired under.

    The entire open bidding process was subverted and Oracle was handed an open ended time and materials deal.

    Now that the feds are looking into going after the responsible parties Kitzhaber is back pedaling.

    I was also told the states attorney will not be taking action, a private attorney will be runnng point on this action.

    Not that I am any fan or Oracle's I think they may be in the clear on this one.

    Kitzhaber should fall on his sword.

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