Management & Labor

Feds to Help Fix Florida's Unemployment Website

January 16, 2014

Three months after its debut, Florida’s $63 million unemployment benefits website is showing signs of improvement but falls far short of adequately serving claimants who depend on it, state officials testified Wednesday before a Senate panel.

“The rollout of the new computer system has not gone as hoped or as promised by the vendor,” said Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Department of Economic Opportunity. “And no one is more disappointed or frustrated about that than the hardworking staff at DEO.”

Panuccio gave no indication of when the CONNECT website will be fixed or who will resolve problems that have delayed the maximum $275 weekly payments for thousands of claimants since mid October.

On Tuesday night, Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson announced officials with the U.S. Department of Labor will arrive later this week to “help fix” the website and won’t leave until the problems are resolved. The initial vendor, Deloitte Consulting, has hired 10 additional programmers to work on the project. In addition, Panuccio announced a $365,000 contract with a second vendor, Capgemini.

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