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UIA names Deloitte to replace current unemployment system

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The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is moving to contract with the professional services company Deloitte to help the agency replace a key part of its technology.

Unemployment agency Director Julia Dale said residents can expect its system to be more user friendly and responsive. She said it will also be easier for agency staff to work on.

“The other thing we are going to see is increased reporting capability that is much more robust, allows us to have access to some predictive analytics so that we can get a sense in real-time of what is going on,” Dale said Tuesday.

Between 2013 and 2015, a computer glitch under the current system led to thousands of people wrongly being accused of fraud.

According to Dale, another factor that made Deloitte appealing to the state was its use of an "open system."

By using that framework, Dale said Deloitte gives the state more freedom to make adjustments to the interface. That makes for a faster response when issues arise, like the COVID-19 pandemic, during which an audit found the state's unemployment system was vulnerable to fraud.

“When it comes to being able to pivot and move quickly, to get resources in there, to get access to our data, when there is a closed system, that is a challenge for us because we then are largely dependent on our vendor. And that is going to be a different approach with Deloitte,” Dale said.

The state hopes the new Deloitte-powered user interface will go online by 2025.

“We’re making sure that we have our workflows and work processes well documented. We’re making sure that we’re looking at data that might need to be cleaned up. We’re going to be sitting down with the vendor and going through each of the different areas," including claims and fraud investigations, Dale said.

The contract is expected to cost more than $78 million over the course of 10 years.

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