Florida’s failed unemployment system was never prepared to handle even a modest amount of jobless claims, which is why the historic number of claims that crushed it during the pandemic.
In a report, released by Gov. Ron DeSantis, Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel found that officials provided poor oversight and never fixed problems with the CONNECT online system.
The Department of Economic Opportunity requested the system be able to handle 200,000 users, but Deloitte Consulting, only tested the system to handle 4,200 concurrent users. The company hired to independently evaluate CONNECT was Ernst & Young, who was “neither fully independent nor adequately rigorous.” The company was paid more than $2 million, but paid the state back $500,000 after CONNECT had so many problems when it went live, which violated the state’s contract with Deloitte.
The inspector general’s investigation was requested by DeSantis last year, after CONNECT failed.
Unemployment surged during the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak and Florida ranked at or near the bottom of all states in its speed of processing claims.
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