Audit reveals Department of Economic Opportunity knew about unemployment website flaws

Reporter: Sara Girard
Published: Updated:

A 2019 audit on the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) reveals the state knew about several website problems—at least a year ago.

These problems range from issues with accuracy and efficiency to security flaws.

Viewers have sent in dozens of emails, messages, and comments describing their attempts to apply for unemployment and how they are facing all kinds of technical issues.

In 2019, auditors outlined 17 different findings, discussing several problems and how the DEO could improve its website.

While the state had recorded 630 outstanding issues, it had no process in place to identify or analyze system errors. This would help determine how often they happen and how many people they affect.

The site still allows the use of social security numbers—despite state law saying that isn’t required.

And auditors found issues with automated functions entering incorrect data and that could get your claim denied.

The DEO’s executive director responded to the audit in March of 2019 saying he would be “prioritizing” two of the findings that year and would “continue” working on the remaining ones.

WINK News tried to ask the DEO whether these issues are responsible for the difficulties hundreds of thousands of unemployed people are now facing. This was their response:

“The team is working around the clock to make sure Floridians can access our system now and that is what we are 100% focused on making sure that Floridians can get reemployment assistance,” said DEO spokesperson, Tiffany Vause.

In a press conference, Wednesday afternoon Governor DeSantis said he’s getting a brief on the audit immediately and hopes the state can push it in the right direction.

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