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State of Florida to contract another company for unemployment website

11:38 PM, Jan 8, 2014   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The state announced today that it would contract with another company to try to get things up and running again. They should start working on it at the end of the week.

"I was expecting to work that day and they called me in," said Joshua Tracy who was laid off in November.

Like thousands of Floridians, he hasn't been able to collect a penny of unemployment.

"You pay for this benefit, and then when you need it they try and stonewall you and delay everything to where you can't get it."

It's stories like Joshua's that prompted Senator Bill Nelson to ask for a federal investigation of Florida's unemployment website, Connect. Since the rollout of the new website in July, people looking for benefits have been frustrated by slow response times, error messages and incomplete claims leaving them with nothing.

"This is showing I have six weeks of benefits that are available, waiting to be claimed, but I haven't received anything," Tracy said.

The state of Florida paid Deloitte Consulting $63 million dollars to design the website, meant to process unemployment claims online. After three months of problems, the state told the company it was withholding $3 million dollars in payment, and would fine $15,000 a day until the site was up and running properly.

"I don't know why they spend that kind of money to build a website that's not working," he said.

Deliotte has defended the CONNECT website, and says claims are being processed. Tracy says, tell that to the people who have still have claims waiting.

"They may have months of payment available, but they've received nothing," he said.

First Coast News

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