Task force discusses Kentucky’s flawed UI system in Frankfort

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 3:43 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Tens of thousands of people waited in long lines online or over the phone for their unemployment problems to be solved, and state officials say a solution to many problems, is simply a whole new unemployment system.

“To our knowledge just recently we felt like we were in the last stages of getting this project awarded,” said Jamie Link, Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary.

The project is a $40 million overhaul but complicating the process was a major security breach that impacted unemployment systems nationwide.

“Based on the new requirements that respondents decided to withdraw, looking at other respondents it was determined they would not be able to provide the system that Kentucky needed,” Link said.

There have been some questions raised as if Kentucky’s unemployment system used all of the able or temporary workers to help through this process. Some of those questions were raised again Tuesday.

“That work for all of us as legislators, and that offer was rejected by the governor and whoever was in charge at that time,” Sen. Ralph Alvarado said.

“The unemployment insurance program letter, 1420, only gives us flexibility in staffing for a short period of time. Who can touch what and what they can do,” said Buddy Hoskinson with the Office of Unemployment Insurance.

State officials say the federal government is very limiting in what can or can’t be done.

State unemployment officials did say they are re-bidding the contract for the new unemployment system, and that it will likely still be two to three years before it is completed.

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