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Six recent cryptic -- that unemployment check you might have to give -- back the US Labor Department says the federal government overpaid.
Fourteen billion dollars -- benefits fourteen billion in taxpayer money up in smoke here with me now is Paul Conway former labor.
Chiefs of staff.
Thank you for joining us because when we hear this kind of story.
It's really irritating and so we want to know how this could possibly happen and it.
And I'm trying to -- -- about the details here -- it's just sort of making a little more irritated but.
The over the overpaid funds went to three main types of people one more people who work actively searching for -- job.
Those who were fired -- quit voluntarily.
And those who continue to file claims even though.
They've returned to work so when I'm thinking about those three categories had happened -- -- -- checking out like at -- go back to work.
-- in -- paying payroll taxes so mind paying taxes how does the government not know that and then not you know allow me to -- Also filed for benefits.
It's by actually I think they're -- different issues here when there's the transfer data between states and the federal government OK sometimes that's outdated systems.
The other thing though is management intensity and the focus of who's responsible.
For focusing on these programs and taking care of these problems and that leadership starts with the president with the cabinet secretary and head of the employment training administration office.
Where this is house there's one other issue though.
The department of -- been without an inspector general now for almost four years and that's a huge issue for the Department of Labor and this in particular these improper payments.
-- the first one was those people aren't actively searching for a job I mean is it easy to fake that.
Well it can be detected people supposed to -- different unemployment offices in that type thing and employment agencies.
It's fairly easy to detect that states have a big role -- that but so does the Department of Labor -- systems ought to be tracking that type of information absolutely.
Yeah it and we also read that unemployment checks are going to you need of people that are in prison that -- somebody else to file I mean obviously.
If you're lying like that -- it's difficult but there should be some record that your at a prison in your still.
Filing for an insurance I mean -- unemployment.
The Labor Department estimates that roughly half of these overpayments are recoverable.
Why is it only half and how is that done.
Well it's a good question and here's where it is the standard that set within the department.
And the office of the inspector general someone -- actually monitors the appropriate agency within the department to make certain their meeting that standard.
Interestingly enough on page nine of their November 11 report the inspector general tagged this agency ETA within the offices.
Of -- Department of Labor as being at risk for this very program itself that they -- keep their eyes on and they had actually overstated.
The success that they were having collecting these funds.
Yeah -- yeah.
It's -- -- there's too many payments going out you know this wasn't it over fourteen million it's a ton -- money it was 11%.
Of the total that was paid out out -- prison space is that's a big number and an absolute basis.
It's a big number you -- just paying too much unemployment and and nobody can possibly manage this big of a program.
Fact actually I think they can manager one of the things to keep mine I think everybody knows every day last Friday the department labor can now with a number of 2%.
For unemployment twelve point 8% for young Americans it's a huge number of people who are unemployed.
So your complexity of the program the data that you're sharing back and forth is even larger.
But when the GAO in the department of labor's inspector general say that this is a top issue going back for the past three years.
Here's got to be a level of seriousness and accountability -- comes to this thing by the political appointees.
And the career folks that are supposed may be managing this and the cabinet officers responsible tell me the -- we're never getting this money back our way.
What ha ha you know I don't think it's I don't think it's good enough the American taxpayers say that we can't get it back.
But if the standard that's been said the expectation that's been set in the department is 50%.
That I think congress ought to get involved with their oversight role and say you know -- and on behalf of the American taxpayer this is actually not good enough for us.
-- -- Our -- Paul Conway thank you for coming on -- Trying to help me feel better I don't feel better but I didn't look pretty up and try and survive yeah I do not turning into one of of the evening's -- thanks a lot this.
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