Revisited: Part 1: Investigation into Florida’s failed unemployment system

Part 1: Investigation into Florida’s failed unemployment system

Bottom Line: The failures of Florida’s unemployment website are well documented by now. The original Connect site was a “jalopy” as Governor DeSantis has coined it, which wasn’t fit for a high volume of unemployment claims but did come with a high price tag. It’s a system that as Governor DeSantis described was “convoluted”. So why was a convoluted system running a jalopy of a website created and left to serve, or largely fail as the case may be? This is where we need answers and hopefully, we will get them.

Governor DeSantis has tasked Inspector General Melina Miguel with investigating the contractor, vendor and related issues with the Connect system. Why is there an investigation into potential impropriety? Because the story of the failed system isn’t one a legacy website allowed to persist past it’s point of viability. This system was a created failure from day one. On December 11th, 2013 – one month after the Connect system went online –technicians were called in on behalf of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity after numerous complaints of Floridians who were unable to submit claims on the site. On the first pass the technicians found 38 issues with the software they patched to make it work effectively. A brand-new platform which Florida paid $77.9 million for prior to its launch required 38 patches almost immediately. Inside of the first year that number grew to more than 100. If ever there was a warning of a lemon. At the time Deloitte Consulting, the hired vendor, paid back $1.5 million due to the issues.Then FDEO Director Jesse Panuccio, said this about the incident: I will not rest until our contractor, Deloitte Consulting, has delivered the system Floridians were promised. Someone should probably check on Jesse’s wellbeing. We should have known it would have gone downhill from there. But still, an inspector general? Why? It probably has something to do with why Deloitte Consulting was hired originally. There’s a reason why State Senator and Florida Republican Party Chairman, Joe Gruters said, $77 million? Someone should go to jail for that.

Here’s what we know: 

  • A 2009 law signed by then Governor Charlie Crist mandated a new unemployment system. 
  • The Crist administration choose Deloitte Consulting as the contractor for the new system prior to Rick Scott taking office

In the second part of today’s story I’ll dig into the details of how this tied together all the way to the DeSantis administration. Here's a link to continue with that story:

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content