Despite Panuccio's assurances, feds say issues with CONNECT remain
TALLAHASSEE — To make the case that senators should allow him to keep his $141,000 job leading the Department of Economic Opportunity, Jesse Panuccio has testified this month about remarkable progress in fixing the state's glitch-prone unemployment benefits website.
What he hasn't mentioned is that a key feature of the $63-million CONNECT system — fast, automatic processing of claims — still doesn't work, according to a recent letter from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The DEO "reported that the auto-adjudication function, which is expected to improve DEO productivity with regard to claims processing, is still in development and projected for implementation this month," DOL administrator Gay Gilbert wrote March 20.
She went on to note that the state will "retain most of the additional staff you have hired to manage the workload and backlogs temporarily until the auto-adjudication system is operational."
In other words, not only does the system not work, the state is paying people to perform what should be automated tasks.
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