CORONAVIRUS: Kansas Department of Labor, Accenture reach partnership to help improve jobless benefits situation Featured

CORONAVIRUS: Kansas Department of Labor, Accenture reach partnership to help improve jobless benefits situation Accenture logo

A new public-private partnership is designed to smooth out some of the issues that have befallen the state’s jobless benefits system.

Governor Laura Kelly says the Kansas Department of Labor has entered into an agreement with Accenture to recommend best practices for processing claims, operating call centers and technological adjustments. Accenture will start a review process immediately, with a goal of developing action steps followed by data gathering, analysis and periodic recommendations.

Other terms of the agreement have not been announced.

The Department of Labor has been beset by issues since the coronavirus pandemic began. An ancient mainframe and a crush of calls overwhelmed staffers at the start of the pandemic. Complaints also arose about residents in need of benefits either receiving no payments or one payment. Earlier this month, KDOL apparently issued duplicate jobless benefit payments to about 4,500 residents -- only to use a so-called clawback maneuver to retrieve that money and cause many of those residents to overdraw their accounts. Concerns about a potential data breach involving Social Security information have also been mentioned.

Delia Garcia resigned as Labor secretary June 21, shortly before the clawback and possible data breach concerns were announced.

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