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State Senate moves to head-off future computer/software debacles like the Cover Oregon “launch”

State Capitol

State Capitol

Legislation provides stronger oversight and checks on IT projects – HB 4122B will cut waste in state government by ensuring contractors deliver promised results.

SALEM – Earlier this morning the Oregon Senate passed legislation that will reform Oregon’s contract work with state government. House Bill 4122B, which passed on a vote of 25-5, requires state contracting agencies to obtain quality assurance services on large projects.

House Bill 4122B requires an Independent Quality Assurance review for all public information technology projects that cost more than $5 million and include specific criteria. In order to make sure the additional oversight leads to appropriate action, the bill also requires that the reports are sent to the right people who can review them promptly and take swift action to rectify any problems identified in the reports.

“To make sure we can invest appropriately in Oregonians’ priorities, it’s crucial that we cut waste and direct funding to the right places,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “In order to do that, we need greater contract accountability so the state receives what it was promised on time and without cost overruns.”

Because of technical problems with the Cover Oregon website, tens of thousands of Oregonians have had to sign up for health insurance by going around the exchange and directly to private insurers. Senate Democrats urged passage of HB 4122B to prevent future IT contracting failures.

“We’re working hard every day to push Oracle and the executive branch to fix the Cover Oregon website,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford). “This bill provides an essential tool for the state to prevent future contracting problems so we can focus on what’s really important to Oregonians—helping them get access to critical health care and insurance.”

The bill now returns to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration of amendments made in the Senate.

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