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EDD, Deloitte Grilled On Unemployment System Upgrade Debacle

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Employment Development Department officials were on the hot seat, forced to answer questions about why a new system left thousands without their unemployment benefits.

EDD directors addressed two main issues at today's hearing: Stop payment flags delaying payments and claim forms not being sent out.

"There's an opportunity for everyone involved in the new system to own their piece of the mistake," said Assemblyman Henry Perea, the chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee.

Thousands of angry people waiting on their payments called their legislators, demanding answers for the backlog from EDD and Deloitte, the company behind the failed computer system.

"We should have dug deeper," said Jason Salzetti, a representative for Deloitte.

The company admits it didn't spend enough time looking at stop payment flags, which mark a person ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Under the old system, correcting that issue would only take seconds. Under the new system from Deloitte, payments were delayed to eligible people for two months.

An EDD director would only admit the agency made a mistake once during the hearing.

Deloitte admitted it has a lack of trained employees to handle the situation.

"In an ideal world, we'd have all the right resources from day 1," Salzetti said.

A temporary patchwork solution is in place, with EDD finding a way to manually send unemployment forms to everyone eligible. This is a step that should have been done with the Deloitte computer system.

Deloitte says the problem should be fixed in the next few weeks.

EDD employees say they warned the department about the problems years in advance, but they were ignored until it was too late.

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