Audit Identifies Reasons For Oregon Employment Department’s Poor Performance At Start Of Pandemic

SALEM, Ore. – An audit ordered by Secretary of State Shemia Fagan in February 2021 finds several reasons for the system’s breakdown “these include outdated IT systems, a phone system that couldn’t scale up to the amount needed, and the need to quickly staff up while implementing multiple, new federal programs.”

She says the audit also finds possible racial and income disparities, “The bottom line is, this was real people, real families impacted. And we don’t ever want that to get lost in the shuffle of who’s fault that was.”

She says recommendations for improvement include establishing formalized guidelines, a single website and a text messaging system.

The Department says it has already made several changes and is in the process of adopting more.


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