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Deloitte Defends Work on Florida’s System for Unemployed as It Faces $15,000-a-Day Fine

| December 23, 2013

Still missing something. (mav.mbecker.net)

Still missing something. (mav.mbecker.net)

Deloitte Consulting contends it has completed the work outlined in its contract for Florida’s new online unemployment-assistance system, which the company says “has surpassed the performance of the unsustainable systems it replaced.”

Deloitte issued a statement after the state Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday started to impose fines of $15,000 per business day against the Minnesota-based company and withheld a $3 million payment for failing to deliver a “fully functioning” system.

The $62.8 million Connect system went live on Oct. 15 and continues to pose problems for many users and headaches for state officials.

Deloitte spokesman Jonathan Gandal said in a news release late Friday that the company has completed the “tasks and activities outlined in our contract.”

“In just 60 days, the new system has surpassed the performance of the unsustainable systems it replaced, meeting or exceeding longer term key performance indicators by reducing average time to adjudicate separation issues, reducing the number of claims requiring staff intervention, and decreasing average time to implement lower authority appeals,” Gandal said in the release. “Performance will continue to improve as the system matures and as both departmental users and claimants become acclimated to its new functions.”

A Department of Economic Opportunity spokeswoman disputed Gandal’s appraisal of the status of the unemployment system and the state contract.

“No, DEO does not agree with that assessment,” spokeswoman Jennifer Diaz said Monday in an email.

Diaz cited a letter the state sent to Deloitte on Friday that pointed to 25 still-unresolved technical issues and 26 new problems that have cropped up since the system went live.

“For some users of the system — claimants needing a financial bridge as they transition back to employment — the delays caused by these defects have proven to be a true hardship,” department Executive Director Jesse Panuccio wrote in the letter to Deloitte official Jessica Blume.

On Friday, Panuccio announced that the daily fine would be imposed until the technical problems were resolved.


“We always said there are issues with the system, and the question is at what point do we withhold payment and institute penalties,” Panuccio said in an interview. “We think we’ve reached that point.”

No deadline has been set for the system to be fully functional, but additional penalties could be applied if Deloitte is unable to complete the work without more consultants and vendors being brought in to direct and monitor the work.

Gandal in his statement said remaining issues “require departmental actions or are otherwise beyond Deloitte’s control.”

“We will continue to provide warranty support to DEO, in accordance with our contract, and work diligently to resolve any warranty items as they are identified,” Gandal said “We will also continue to work with DEO to clarify the true nature of the remaining issues and will hold ourselves strictly accountable for fixing anything within our control as quickly as possible.”

Connect has been in the works since 2009 to replace a 30-year-old system people used to claim their weekly benefits, monitor accounts and request information. The department provides up to $275 weekly to more than 200,000 jobless Floridians.

The changeover, which is in part covered with federal tax dollars, includes about $28.2 million for Deloitte Consulting to set up the website.

Deloitte was penalized $4.5 million last year by the Department of Economic Opportunity due to project delays.

–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

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8 Responses for “Deloitte Defends Work on Florida’s System for Unemployed as It Faces $15,000-a-Day Fine”

  1. Anonymous says:

    To quote the “Wizard of OZ”: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! (He’s a Republican…and, therefore, above reproach.) Besides…it’s all Obama’s fault…Damn him!

  2. rickg says:

    A failure of a state operated web site… hmmm why should that be unusual??? When many of the state’s systems use cobol… an antiquated software… because the Legislature just doesn’t want to spend the necessary funds to make things work in an efficient way. Keep electing the Rs people and get more and more of this.

    • Geezer says:

      I’m surprised that Florida isn’t using a keypunch system.
      Any service that is in place for workers, working poor,
      or just poor is always shit that seems to say: “we’ll if you don’t like it – get out.”

      This is quickly becoming a state intended for drawing in rich people, or people
      with fat pensions from other states. Florida is a big leech with a pan handle.

      Home grown natives working for peanuts are the most common sight here.
      These poor people have no future and yet rally against unions and healthcare,
      they vote for people that f””” them at every turn. Where’s their pension to
      take to another state one day? You sure can’t bank sunshine.

      This place is retrograde, bass-ackwards, and is an insult to one’s intelligence.
      One exception – slavery has been modernized and molded into Walmart jobs.
      That’s progress Florida style.

      The people of Florida are good deferential citizens for the most part.
      But the people running Florida are criminals from the top down.
      Just look at what was elected for governor….

      Let’s make road-kill armadillos or palmetto bugs the state symbol.
      Truth in advertising….

    • Go To India or China to Find Work says:

      Doesn’t help that our JOBS JOBS JOBS governor selected a company that CONTRACTS OUT work to foreign contractors such as India either.

  3. neverwas says:

    I been waiting almost 3 months and my adjudication is still undetermined. I am living with out unemployment assistance and have applied for many jobs each week. I had to cash in my 401k and rely on family just to live. I have worked a temp job and the system is so messed up I could not enter in money earned when I claimed my weeks. Even though I am not receiving unemployment I still need to meet all my requirements and claim weeks until a determination has been made. At that point they will send one check for all weeks I have been claiming. While the money will be nice it has been needed for the last few month, now I have more expenses due to late fees.

    • Dusty says:

      neverwas:

      I to had adjudication problems for 4 months. I feel your pain. I finally got all my back pay a week ago. How many times have you called them?

  4. Its Coming says:

    It’s going to be worse than the Great Depression
    Jim Rogers, one of the world’s top investors, is warning that we’re heading towards an economic crisis that will make the 2008 crisis look like a walk in the park.
    Although the media tries to paint a rosy picture, the fact is, if we measured unemployment the way they did during the 1930s, today’s real unemployment numbers are much worse than they were during the Great Depression.
    Since 2001, our country has lost 5.1 million manufacturing jobs –2.7 million of those jobs were lost to China . Not only has China become the number one buyer of U.S. debt, but they’ve destroyed what was once the largest manufacturing base in the world. This country is never going to get those jobs back!
    The only real difference between now and the Great Depression, and the reason most people don’t realize how bad the problem really is, is our government is now supporting almost half the country.
    Instead of the bread lines of the 1920’s, we now have 47 million people on food stamps and half the country counting on at least one government program to pay their bills. If it wasn’t for these programs, our country would have collapsed long ago. But like I said above, all Ponzi Schemes eventually come crashing to the ground and this one will be no different.
    Even if you could somehow magically wish away our $17 trillion in debt , we’re still borrowing at a rate of almost $1 trillion a year and the over $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities is a whole nether beast. There’s simply no way this government can ever make good on its promises. One way or another, this is not going to end well.
    At he end of his interview with CNBC, Roger’s warned that when the next big collapse comes, it will be far worse than anything we’ve ever seen. He ended the interview with telling people to “Be prepared, be worried, and be careful“. My advice is not to worry, but to prepare. The only way to really come out ahead is to watch out for what’s coming, and make the proper preparations to survive it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @It’s Coming Says–And you think that welching on our debts by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, therefore forcing our country into a position where it literally cannot (or will not) pay it’s bills, will SAVE US?? It will SINK us! But, hey–as long as the Tea Party Republicans make their point, what the heck! Let’s catastrophize ourselves into a tizzy with this ridiculous rhetoric and run off the fiscal cliff like Lemmings on a mission from God, with FOX news banners flying and Confederate flags clenched in our teeth! What a way to go!

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