Republicans question Cover Oregon review

Republicans question Cover Oregon review

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by Kyle Iboshi, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 5 at 7:19 AM

Salem, Ore. -- Investigators looking into Cover Oregon started interviews in Salem this week. An Atlanta-based firm is conducting an independent review of the state's troubled health exchange website.

"We want to know exactly what happened but we also want to know how to improve things going forward," said Matt Shelby of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.

Since its launch in October, Cover Oregon's website has been riddled with problems.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber requested the third-party review. But critics say the investigation won't go far enough.

Rep. Dennis Richardson of Central Point is asking for a federal audit by the General Accountability Office (GAO).

"I think that when the Governor, who's being asked what he knew and when, is the one who hires a new company to come in, it is not independent," said the Republican state lawmaker.

One former state legislator thinks the FBI should also get involved.

Patrick Sheehan says he went to federal agents a year ago with second-hand information that Cover Oregon was allegedly using mock-ups of a bogus website to meet federal deadlines.

"If it is true, then that means the state of Oregon and the people we hired to be in that position were presenting something that wasn't honest to get federal funding," said Sheehan.

The former Republican lawmaker doesn't know if that tip went anywhere with the FBI. But he believes there were plenty of other warnings in Salem that the Cover Oregon website wouldn't work.

The independent review is expected to be complete by the end of March.

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