From Sen. Nancy Jacobs:
A just released legislative audit shows that Maryland unemployment checks were issued to people who were dead, behind bars or even working for state government. One state employee collected almost 6 thousand dollars in unemployment checks while on the state payroll. Auditors say the agency didn’t do enough cross checks in available databases to look for possible fraud. This most recent audit is one in a series that find careless stewardship of our tax dollars.
The problem at Unemployment Insurance comes shortly after another audit revealed the Maryland Transportation Authority isn’t collecting unpaid tolls and fines from the worst toll violators. And late last year an accounting error was discovered at the Disabilities Administration that left 34 million dollars unspent as disabled people were stuck on a long waiting list for services. It’s enough to make a hard working taxpayers scream.
It’s hard to know how many state tax dollars have actually been lost to fraud, how much was wasted or went uncollected because agencies weren’t keeping close tabs. Audits are only done every three years and it’s tough to put your finger on the exact amount of the losses. That’s because auditors do a random sampling or just survey one quarter, when a problem may have existed for several years. Agency Chiefs often respond to the critiques by saying remedies are underway or the problem will soon be fixed. Yet the missteps and mismanagement keep resurfacing. This is an outrage.
The problem is one of no enforcement! Some of these state agencies have problem audits over and over again. No taxpayer deserves this. In the future “repeats offender” agencies should be subject to more frequent audits. There should be some penalty for the bureaucrat bumbling. We are compelled to be better guardians of public funds.
Sen. Nancy Jacobs
Bruce O'H. says
Democrats always pay off their voters…
Bruce, they learned some years ago that you campaign best when you give away the people’s money all year long. Why wait until the election to campaign?
Why not make those on the dole present themselves at the office and show a photo ID before they can receive the check each month? Proof of job applications, interviews or mitigating circumstances could be required at the same time.
You mean, go back to how it used to be?
While accountability is certainly required, your suggestion would mean a substantial increase in administrative costs and errors. The process has been streamlined for a variety of reasons and generally everything is done electronically now for that reason.
We definitely lost accountability in doing that, but I would argue that we need to find a different solution than just going back to how it was before.
The current system of requirements we use for unemployment, as it mostly was before now, is really a joke and everyone knows it. It’s more of a handout than welfare, the only difference is you earned UIB because you at least were working.
I don’t put people down for getting unemployment, most of them need it, badly, and it takes a lot of character to eat your pride in order to feed your family.
But like almost everything else we attempt to do, the system is dysfunctional.
If the dead can vote they should be able to collect unemployment checks.Same with illegals, prisoners and people with jobs.It sounds like discrimination, bias,and/or some type of phobia against these poor people.Can’t we all just get along?
Hmmm, I was pretty sure that unemployment benefits were paid by employers and not by tax dollars. It’s been years since I worked for that agency, but I remember that employer contributions paid for benefits. Maybe it has since changed. Not that payments shouldn’t be audited though. Regardless of where the money comes from, it shouldn’t be paid to ineligible recipients.
Nope, I checked and unemployment is still funded by employers. I would have thought Nancy Jacobs’ staff would have known that.
ALEX R says
Sorry, but you are wrong. Unemployment checks are issued by the State to people that the State deems eligible to receive them.
Federal Extended Benefits, which represent the majority of overpayments, are not funded by employers. Check again.
Suzanne Collins says
Employers pay a tax but most of the money is federal tax dollars
Fed Up says
Asking the dead to show ID is just a conservative plot to deprive the underprivileged! Is anyone following these stories and connecting the dots? Dead, illegal aliens, non-residents, maybe even pets are collecting benefits (funded by all of us), treated by our healthcare system, collecting social security benefits and voting all over this country and we cannot require the simplest form of ID for any of this? We (democrat and republican) are killing ourselves!!!
All we have to do is keep lowering the unemployment rate, whether people are actually getting work or not, then we shouldn’t have to pay anyone unemployment. I say the unemployment rate should now be 2.9%, so it must be. All of you liberals can now start praising my success.
ALEX R says
Yes, there should be a penalty for bureaucratic bumbling. It would be a little problematic to figure out what exactly the penalty should be, nevertheless there should be one. In the private sector the penalty for bumbling is easier to create and to enforce, companies lose money and people lose their jobs. End of story. But people don’t lose their jobs in the public sector because nothing is anyone’s fault and if the public sector loses money . . . well, actually it can’t lose money because a balanced budget is required in Maryland so we just raise taxes and fees.
On the unemployment side we just raise the unemployment insurance rate paid by employers and payment is mandatory. No, Vinny, employers don’t pay unemployment directly to former employees and the system of determining who gets unemployment is a joke. I have been thru it from the employer side when I formally objected to a previous employee getting unemployment because she resigned. I had her signed resignation plus she testified under oath that she quit because she didn’t like the job and that was the only reason she quit. Nevertheless she was awarded benefits by the examiner. I could walk away or continue to pay legal counsel to fight what was clearly wrong.