Audit finds LWC lacked sufficient controls regarding jobless claimant applications

The Louisiana legislative auditor published a report today saying the Louisiana Workforce Commission did not ensure enough accountability over public funds. 

Auditors analyzed LWC’s responsibility for these funds from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, and found inadequate controls over and noncompliance with unemployment insurance benefits. Auditors found that 27% of benefit claimants that were reviewed had inconsistent or missing information on their application. 

Noncompliance with state civil service rules regarding special leave may have resulted in improper compensation totaling around $786,000. 

LWC also did not have accurate financial reporting information for the Unemployment Trust Fund’s annual fiscal report, the audit states, which is used to compile the state’s comprehensive annual financial report. Federal revenue and amounts due from the federal government were understated by $65.2 million, unemployment insurance benefit expenses and other liabilities were understated by $46.5 million, and cash was understated by $17.7 million.

LWC says one issue that may have contributed to the audit’s claims of inaccurate financial reporting is that state claims are processed and paid through a third-party contractor, and accounting staff then review the claim. Due to the pandemic and high number of hurricanes, accounting staff was not able to download claim details to review. 

In the report, auditors suggested LWC management establish a more accurate process and consider the effects of unusual or extraordinary events. Read the full report here