The MNsure indictment

I wrote here that MNsure’s difficulties are an indictment of Gov. Dayton, the MNsure board of directors and the DFL co-chairs of the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee. Here’s an explanation of why each of these people should be fired for gross mismanagement:

Gov. Dayton, in addition to lobbying for the creation of MNsure, appointed the members of the MNsure board of directors. Apparently, he didn’t think it was necessary to put anyone with management experience on the board. It’s apparent because, according to Optum’s report, “no one was in charge of the project to find out what was wrong and fix it.” The report also said that management operated in “crisis mode.”

That’s what happens when a sensible management structure isn’t implemented first.

There isn’t proof that Gov. Dayton paid attention to MNsure after he signed the bill into law. If he paid attention, that’s cause for being really afraid because he didn’t recognize the problems during development. That means Gov. Dayton was either apathetic or incompetent. Neither outcome is flattering to Gov. Dayton’s leadership image.

For his incredible display of indifference to this project, Gov. Dayton deserves getting fired this November. Minnesotans simply can’t afford to have someone this incompetent handling the levers of power.

The next count of the indictment is against the MNsure board of directors. They’re the people who didn’t put the management structure together. As a result, the MNsure website is a failure. More importantly, the MNsure office is a picture of utter incompetence.

That’s resulted in hundreds of millions of the taxpayers’ dollars getting wasted on a) a disfunctional website and b) an incompetent management team. The Optum report, which I’m calling the Optum Indictment, estimates that between $150,000,000 and $160,000,000 have been spent thus far with at least another $50,000,000 to be spent on fixing things.

Management 101 requires management to establish a chain of accountability within the organization to ensure the project is completed successfully, on time and under budget. The MNsure board of directors essentially gave the project team a bunch of money, then told them to get to work.

That isn’t managing a project. That’s the equivalent of giving people a project, then taking a 2-week vacation to Costa Rica. Thank God that didn’t happen.

Finally, the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee should be indicted, then convicted, for not giving a damn about the website or the office. Republicans on the commitee raised lots of issues. The committee’s co-chairs weren’t interested in accountability. They held a contentious meeting on Sept. 24, 2013, then didn’t call another hearing until January, months after reports surfaced talking about data security and systemic management failures.

The DFL has shown that they aren’t serious about accountability or competence. They’ve shown that they’re just interested in spending the taxpayers’ money foolishly.

That’s why the DFL legislature must be fired this November. Their apathy, indifference and incompetence is frightening.