Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: February 26, 2016
Contact: Courtney Greene
Des Moines, IOWA - Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) Director Beth Townsend gave an agency update to the IWD State Board during the quarterly meeting held at State Capitol today.
Director Townsend provided an audit presentation, detailing actions IWD is taking following the results of an audit released on February 3, 2016. The State of Iowa Audit report for the period January 1, 2012 – January 13, 2015 showed improper Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit disbursements and payments, and uncollected penalties totaling more than $909,554.17.
IWD is working closely with the State of Iowa's Auditor’s office to address the issues outlined in the audit, including:
- Crediting approximately 60 percent of the employer accounts that were improperly charged due to a phone system malfunction (totaling approximately $260,000)
- Working to credit the remaining 40% of employer accounts improperly charged (potential remaining total of $173,866.24)
- Conducting tax-rate reviews of all impacted employers (adjustments will be made as appropriate)
State board members voted to recommend that IWD forgive overpayments as a result of the phone system malfunction on March 8, 2014 and to not seek money from Iowans who received improper UI payments for that week. In addition, the board adopted a recommendation for the Iowa Legislature to approve using interest funds from an infusion of federal money under the Reed Act to cover losses to the UI Trust Fund. Reed Act stimulus funds in 2002 and 2009 injected $70 million dollars into the UI Trust Fund. Interest from the $70 million would be used to offset the $433,866.24 in losses incurred because of the phone system malfunction.
Efforts to collect unpaid debt, identify and eliminate fraud, and hold employers accountable who misclassify workers were also discussed. IWD staff also provided an update on Iowa’s implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds attended the IWD State Board meeting and responded to questions from the board about workforce issues and initiatives. Director Townsend thanked the Governor and Lt. Governor’s commitment to addressing workforce issues, adding “The Governor and Lt. Governor travel extensively across Iowa and routinely hear how desperate Iowa employers are for skilled workers. With low unemployment, we appreciate their support for innovative and collaborative efforts to match job seekers with quality, high-paying jobs,” said Director Townsend.
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