Audit Rips Accounting In Pennsylvania Jobless Benefit System

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – A new audit says it’s unclear if the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry properly spent millions in recent years on an unemployment compensation system that has melted down during a funding fight.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Tuesday the state spent nearly $180 million between 2013 and 2016 without proper accounting methods that would make clear how the money was doled out.

DePasquale said lawmakers asking hard questions about the system is “entirely fair.”

“People have a right to be frustrated with what we found over the last four years,” said DePasquale.

He said despite millions of dollars allocated over the last four years for the UC Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund, or SIIC, computer databases are a “bad glitch” away from being wiped out.

“Somebody right now that’s getting a UC check, if that system goes down, not just that their checks would be delayed, but their names would be wiped out from the system,” said DePasquale.

The Democrat says the Labor and Industry Department needs about $64 million for computer system improvements.

The department laid off nearly 500 workers in December after Senate Republicans blocked funding over concerns about propping up an inefficient system.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday signed a law providing $15 million for the agency as a short-term fix. Wolf says he’ll bring back some of the laid-off employees.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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