Dan Sandini is a Citizen Journalist and SW Engineer who blasted the Cover Oregon Board in public testimony back in November predicting accurately that they would never field a system. (more below including full transcript)

Dateline February 7, 2014 – Portland Oregon: In November 2013 Citizen Journalist and Software Engineer Dan Sandini sat through all 5.5 hours of the Cover Oregon Board, listening to some of the worst software engineering practices he had ever heard of in his 20 year career. Afterwards he gave a scathing rebuke to those responsible for the fiasco. On the receiving end were then Cover Oregon Executive Director Rocky King, who has since taken Sandini’s recommendation and resigned. Also present was Liz Baxter, Chair of the Board who Sandini notes added requirements for the contractor over the course of the meeting. Aaron Karjala, the Cover Oregon CIO was present and early put forward Oracle’s plan to add 25-30 people to the project. Sandini accurately predicted that these people would never field a working system. Sandini calls for the resignation of Governor John Kitzhaber who is currently being investigated internally and possible externally by the FBI for committing fraud in obtaining federal funds. Sandini also calls for the resignation of the board. His comments are about 4 mins and provided in HD. A FULL TRANSCRIPT is below.].  [Watch the CIO Aaron Karjala lie to me afterwards: (http://youtu.be/IOTHMuk7js8)]


Liz Baxter, Chair of Cover Oregon calls me up: “Dan Sandini”

Dan Sandini:

“So my name is Dan Sandini and I have 20 years [experience] in the IT field. I worked for the MITRE Corporation. And I also have a Masters Degree in Software Engineering. I’ve got some bad news for folks. This gentleman down the end [indicates Board Member Ken Fisher] was looking for some outside help and wanted to get a fresh set of eyeballs on the thing [Cover Oregon] and that’s not such a bad idea.

But, and I won’t take much time, I’m also a chronically ill patient, and have had my health insurance cancelled [by Obamacare and Cover Oregon] and so I am struggling with this. I’ve decided to go around Cover Oregon, and just sign up directly with Providence [Medical Insurance]. Just because I can see from the outside what’s happening here.

On the 11th of November, which is a few days ago here, the Independent Alavare Health Study came out and ranked Oregon last in terms of these exchanges. You have a serious problem on your hands. As I listened around the table here today, I heard shifting requirements. It’s not only the Oracle guys, or the technical guys fault. But the folks who are going to be using and implementing the system, there are requirements that are changing as well. Those need to be frozen.

The solution that’s being offered, as near as I can tell, is adding more people to the project. Isn’t that what I heard the Oracle guy say? There is one Oracle gentleman back there [Aaron Karjala, Cover Oregon CIO]. There’s a book that was written in the 1970s, and it’s called “The Mythical Man Month,” and I’d like everybody to just take a look at that book by Fred Brooks. It’s a classic in software engineering. It’s easy to read you can just look at the summary it’s on Amazon. And it’s a simple rule, and that rule is: “Adding more people to a late project makes it later.”

You are not going to see a system on December 15th, I’ve got bad news, you’re not going to see it on January 15th, you are not going to see it on February 15th. This project exhibits all the characteristics, of what Ed Yourdan calls “Death March.” You can look at that book on Amazon.com it’s a classic in software engineering. This project is doomed, because there isn’t a baselined set of requirements, and the solutions that are being offered, [looks at Rocky King and Aaron Karjala], are to add more people to a late project.

What I will offer here today in terms of a solution for folks, is that you listen close to what the President had to say, the President of the United States, said today [sic]; which is: These people, whose health insurance policies have been cancelled [looks at people who had policies cancelled under Obamacare] let them keep them for another year.

I would challenge Rock [Rocky King Executive Director of Cover Oregon] who is behind me, I already asked Governor Kitzhaber if he would fire him, or whether Governor Kitzhaber would resign. Someone has messed this up colossally, but I would ask those folks to immediately, and for the board to take an action, to have all OMIP members to be able to retain their insurance policies for another year at least until you can sort this mess out. And then the next move that I think I would recommend for the board would be that the Affordable Health Care Act should be repealed, and that this board should dissolve itself. And that would be my recommendations as an outside software engineer. Thank you very much.”

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  1. This was very good Dan. OMIP was working. Why didn’t they just expand it? I was a OMIP customer, as of 2/4/14 I was given 3 months to live by two doctors here in Oregon. My MDS has turned into AML.

    Thanks Dan for all you do.

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