Austin offers amendment to audit DWD for unemployment payments

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INDIANAPOLIS – Today, State Representative Terri Austin (D-Anderson) proposed an amendment to House Bill 1152 that would have required an audit of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD); however, the amendment was voted down on the House floor.

Austin's amendment would have required the office of the Inspector General to hire and oversee an accounting firm to audit DWD's processes, decisions and overall management of the state's unemployment insurance program. The audit would have included:

  • comparisons of unemployment programs in surrounding states
  • review unemployment eligibility, benefit amounts and durations
  • eligibility determination and resolution time frame
  • usability of application software
  • staff training
  • amount of claims found to be fraudulent

“My guess is that everyone in this room has been inundated with calls from worried constituents asking about the status of their unemployment benefits,” Austin said. “We're talking about thousands of Hoosiers who have waited months for a response, some losing all of their unemployment benefits due to fraud.

“I understand the people of DWD are working as hard as they can, but as a General Assembly it's our responsibility to oversee this agency and protect our constituents from further harm.

“This amendment simply asks for an audit. We did an audit of the Department of Child Services (DCS) in 2018 and that was the pathway for DCS to start making much needed improvements. I'm simply asking that we do the same for the issues that are continuing to occur with the DWD's current system.”

The amendment was voted down 66-31.

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