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Michigan Auditor General flags problems with hiring of unemployment workers during pandemic


A new state audit is highlighting problems within the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency during the pandemic, focusing on the agency's on and offboarding process which led to at least one case of fraud.

The Michigan Auditor General found the agency allowed staffers to keep access to the system longer than was necessary, didn’t complete proper background checks on over 55-hundred workers, or ensure all new employees finished training.

"You’re putting them into a position where they have the name of someone, that person’s social security number, and their date of birth," Republican Steve Johnson said. "Which is... I mean, that’s the jackpot for someone who wants to commit identity theft. And that’s what this agency allowed".

Johnson is the House Oversight Committee Chair. He says there are many longstanding problems with the agency.

“I’d like Governor Whitmer to come through and do a complete overhaul of the agency," Johnson said. "That’s going to be personnel, that’s going to be policies, that’s going to be a number of things".

The agency says it’s it’s already working on changes like creating fingerprinting and background check policies, and putting a new training management system in place.

In the period covered by the audit, the agency was rapidly adding new staff to address a record number of claims.