Auditor: DEED overpaid $3.2 million in unemployment benefitsby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A new Legislative auditor's report estimates the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) overpaid as much as $3.2 million in federal unemployment benefits during the 2010 fiscal year.
The federal money was an additional unemployment benefit provided by the Obama administration's recovery act -- and it amounted to an extra $25 a week for recipients.
Audit manager Brad White said DEED regularly recovers overpaid money from people who take benefits while they're working.
"However, what we found in finding number one of our report, is that they did not seek recovery of the additional 25 dollars per week for those individuals," White said.
He said DEED was under pressure to distribute the stimulus money quickly and didn't develop a system to track stimulus fund overpayments.
"Some of that aggressive desire to get that out there quickly forced the department to find ways and channels to deliver that and I think they felt that was part of the problem. It was something that had to happen rather quickly."
The agency said in a response to the audit that it's working to correct the overpayments.
White said the department was under pressure to issue the funds rapidly.
"Some of that aggressive desire to get that out there quickly forced the department to find ways and channels to deliver that," White said. "And I think they felt that was part of the problem. It was something that had to happen rather quickly."
DEED said in a response to the audit that it agrees with the recommendations and is working to address the problem.