Audit finds shortcomings in unemployment insurance program

Laramie, Wyo. – The state's Employment Tax Division hasn't collected nearly $9.5 million in owed payments because the division doesn't actively manage delinquent accounts. That's one finding of a recent audit of the state's unemployment insurance program.

The Legislative Service Office's Michael Swank oversaw the audit. He says one problem is that record keeping at the division happens through an outdated system. "Part of this comes down to how old and cumbersome their data information system is," he said. "The original tax data system that houses a lot of this data and from which they've produced reports was built in the mid-80s and they've gradually built in add-ons for electronic reporting and so forth."

According to the report, active employers owe nearly 40% of the more than $9 million in delinquent payments. Swank says the state's unemployment insurance program has seen a surge in demand during the economic downturn. More than half of the benefits distributed in the last eight years were paid out in the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years.