BATON ROUGE – In November 2015, the previous administration made the decision to launch the vendor supported, web-based system to replace the agency’s legacy mainframe system that was originally built over 30 years ago. The State Office of Technology Services first raised concerns regarding this modernization effort in July 2015.
The system implementation involved millions of pieces of data that included a number of special, one-time unemployment programs such as the Emergency Unemployment Compensation and the federal sequestration benefit reduction, and supplemental federal benefit payments, as well as numerous other unique data elements. “System migration efforts in general are usually the most complex to complete,” explained Ava Dejoie, Executive Director of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
Dejoie stated that, “In February 2016, a month after becoming the agency Executive Director, I contacted the Legislative Auditor and requested that they begin performing an IT audit of LWC’s HiRE Unemployment Insurance system.”
Current management has taken extraordinary measures to ensure public confidence in the Unemployment Trust Fund by implementing reliable financial reporting, compliance with the Improper Benefit Payment Plan, proper change management and strong security controls. The UI Trust Fund remains secure. A certification of deposits from the United States Treasury received on September 14, 2016, validates a trust fund balance of $930,804,373.92.
Over the past 11 months, the LWC has assembled teams to correct any and all deficiencies. The agency has worked diligently and tirelessly to identify the root causes of system errors, and immediately and systemically correct those errors. LWC enlisted and secured support from USDOL for additional support and technical assistance.
“The agency’s corrective actions that address the Legislative Auditor’s finding are included in the audit report and a number of corrections have already resolved issues reported in the audit,” Dejoie said. She also stated that, “While our progress has been substantial, we have more work to do and Louisiana’s citizens and businesses expect and deserve the best, and we will deliver nothing less.”
About the Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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