Chicago

State audit shines light on Illinois’ $25 million unemployment boondoggle

CHICAGO (CBS) – A brand new report finds issues with the state’s $25 million system for pandemic unemployment techniques that will clarify why the Illinois Department of Employment Security cannot calculate fraud.

The Fiscal Year 2021 report from the Illinois Auditor General’s office discovered the Illinois Department of Employment Security didn’t “maintain accurate and complete Pandemic Unemployment Assistance [PUA] claimant data.” As a outcome, auditors have been unable to confirm whether or not any of IDES’ reported monetary statements have been correct. 

The CBS 2 Investigators have been asking IDES one other money question for years. How a lot of your tax {dollars} did the company pay out in fraudulent advantages? 

The company has refused to present us a quantity, saying as an alternative, they’re working on it. CBS 2 lately uncovered $1.2 million {dollars} in fraud that the company had no thought an worker was really monitoring. The info got here from common unemployment claimants submitting paperwork referred to as ‘fee tracers’ when scammers stole their advantages. 

IDES first instructed us the company was not monitoring this info. After our preliminary reporting, they discovered an worker who really was protecting observe.

But, the broader fraud occurred within the federal PUA program. That program supplied unemployment advantages for the primary time to gig employees and the self-employed who lost their jobs in the course of the pandemic. 

Now, 27 months after the pandemic started, IDES has but to supply any detailed info on what number of fraudulent claims and the way a lot taxpayer money was lost from that PUA program.

CBS 2 requested the Illinois Auditor General if the problems it discovered with the PUA system in Illinois could possibly be stopping IDES from determining how a lot money was lost to fraud. 

“While we cannot speak with any certainty to the cause of the Department’s challenges regarding calculating the extent of fraud, it is our opinion that the inability of the Department to provide complete and accurate PUA claimant data to our auditors indicates that it would be very difficult to calculate, with any certainty, the extent of fraud in the PUA system,” the auditor normal’s office stated.

IDES’ response to immediately’s report signifies they’re persevering with to work on fixing issues with the system, which was constructed, operated and maintained by Deloitte.

Comptroller information present Illinois has paid Deloitte $25 million {dollars} thus far to run the system. 

Read the total Auditor General Report right here.

Read IDES’ full response to the report findings right here.

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