Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Senator Seeks Probe Into Florida's Failed Unemployment Website

Florida's New Unemployment Website Delaying Funds To The Jobless
Senator Bill Nelson is calling for a federal investigation into problems plaguing Florida’s new website for handling unemployment benefits/ The website launched last week and has been causing problems for the 235,000 jobless currently seeking help and benefits in Florida.

After noting the frustration of Floridians trying to apply for unemployment benefits, Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, has asked the Department of Labor to investigate and make sure the state quickly fixes what has gone wrong with its Department of Economic Opportunity’s new $63 million website for people to apply for unemployment compensation. 

It is the Labor Department that oversees programs to help American workers.

As reported by major Florida news outlets, the website that Gov. Rick Scott's administration launched last week has caused delays and frustrations among people trying to get help with unemployment benefits.

Today, Nelson asked Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez to have his department step in and investigate.

“While states administer their own unemployment compensation program … they do so under the Department of Labor which oversees many of the programs our nation has for American workers, including unemployment benefits,” Nelson wrote in a letter to Perez. "The main purpose behind this federal-state program is to help stabilize the economy during recessions. But it certainly won't be of much help in my state if those who have lost their jobs face protracted delays in seeking or receiving benefits."

Technical problems have reportedly frustrated many unemployed trying to use the CONNECT system featured on the website – right above a picture of the governor.

A spokeswoman in the Scott administration has publicly acknowledged “some users have encountered delays and problems accessing the system.’’

Florida’s CONNECT system was developed by Deloitte Consulting, which has had problems in recent years with technology contracts in California, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Deloitte is represented in Tallahassee by high-powered lobbyist Brian Ballard, who also lobbies for US Sugar and several Palm Beach County cities, reported the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

While The Palm Beach Post reported that lots of Floridians are posting online tales of frustration, it’s not known how many may be experiencing protracted delays in seeking unemployment help.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Will somebody do something...How about investigate why a company gets a contract with such a bad history.