Audit points to problems hiring Michigan unemployment agency workers – CBS Detroit


LANSING, Mich (AP) — The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency did not require worker background checks or quickly disable former contract and state employees’ computer access to the confidential benefits system amid unemployment claims without precedent to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, state auditors said Friday.

Their review concluded that the agency had done an insufficient job of both “onboarding” and “offshoring” thousands of workers to help cope with the deluge of new and continuing demands in 2020. The audit found reported four material conditions, the most serious type of finding.

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The UIA acknowledged that mistakes had been made and committed to making improvements.

Auditors found issues with the way the agency contracted with recruiting agencies and delays in blocking some former workers’ ability to use the state network or automated onboarding data system. from Michigan. The agency has also been criticized for not executing or timely implementing data sharing agreements with recruiting agencies and 16 Michigan Works! agencies to protect the confidential information of applicants and employers.

The audit said the agency did not mandate outside agencies to conduct criminal background checks on temporary workers assigned to the state, although the three recruitment agencies told auditors they had conducted them. . Forty-seven workers had at least one felony conviction, including some for financial crimes.

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While it wasn’t immediately clear that having a record bars people from working for the agency, the state said it defined the types of convictions that should bar access to the system. automated compensation, according to auditors.

Agency director Julia Dale, who began in the fall, said the audit covered a period in which its staff grew more than fivefold to handle record requests.

“As the UIA worked quickly to increase the department’s capacity to meet the needs of Michiganders, the execution was less than perfect,” she said in a statement. “The lessons learned and opportunities articulated by the audit serve as the platform to launch an improved Michigan Unemployment Insurance agency.”

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