Contractor plans to examine why Cover Oregon failed

PORTLAND, Ore. -- One day after Gov. John Kitzhaber announced he hired a firm to conduct an independent review of the state's problem-plagued health insurance exchange, the On Your Side Investigators are getting a clearer idea of the scope of the investigation.

KATU obtained a copy of the contract and went line-by-line to see exactly what the state and Cover Oregon are jointly paying $228,000 for.

The contractor, First Data, plans to find answers to seven key questions about Cover Oregon, including when did the website project team realize the website wouldn't be ready by its Oct. 1 launch date; who knew it; what was the basic oversight and governance accountability; and why were Oracle products - the software developer that built the site - services chosen for the project?

According to the contract, "The final assessment report is intended to assist the governor and the agency in the development of policies to achieve best practices in contracting and oversight projects."

The contract also states that First Data consultants will interview "key stakeholders" connected to the project like former Cover Oregon executive director Rocky King, Oregon Health Authority, acting Cover Oregon director Bruce Goldberg and public health director Liz Baxter, as well as state employees who worked on the project.

Cover Oregon has struggled with technical glitches and its online enrollment system since it launched Oct. 1. As a backup plan, the state hired around 500 workers to process applications by hand if they wanted coverage starting Jan. 1.

In a press conference Thursday, Kitzhaber and Goldberg said they did not have a new deadline for when the website would be fully operational. It was unclear if website would be functional before open enrollment closes March 31. That's the deadline for the when First Data must complete its report.

First Data anticipates the assessment will be completed in six weeks.

Full coverage of the troubled Cover Oregon website: