NYS Comptroller opens audit into state unemployment system

NY News

Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller, speaks during a news conference to unveil a major policy statement designed to unlock essential investment worldwide into a global low-carbon economy following an international forum on climate change,Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — The New York State unemployment system is being audited by the state comptroller’s office, a representative confirmed to our sister station News 4 on Friday.

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office tells us the audit began based on their assessment of “risk which includes complaints, large increases in payments, new programs and criteria, and changes to the IT.” They also note the comptroller has looked into the system in the past. 

Republican NYS Senator Ed Rath released a statement Friday saying he’s happy DiNapoli’s office will look into the claim but believes more should be done.

“I am happy that Comptroller DiNapoli will be auditing the New York State Unemployment system for fraud. While this is a critical first step, I believe that a full and comprehensive audit of the system needs to be done. From the very start of the pandemic the unemployment system in our State has been an absolute mess and the lack of transparency has been very concerning,” said Senator Rath.

“Between residents being unable to receive the benefits they are due, to long wait times to overpayments and blatant fraud, there has been non-stop issues. My office has heard from hundreds of residents regarding their unemployment problems, and I am proud to say we have been able to work to resolve many of their issues. Unfortunately, until the fundamental challenges with the unemployment system are addressed, these problems will continue to occur, and we will continue to see fraud and waste in the system. I am hopeful that this audit will bring some much-needed transparency to the process.”

The New York State Department of Labor released the following statement regarding the reported audit:

“The New York State Department of Labor does not comment on pending audits. However, it is important to note that The Comptroller’s State Audit team performs financial and performance audits of New York State agencies on a routine basis – so in light of the fact that the New York State Department of Labor has paid out over $81 billion in benefits to more than 4.6 million New Yorkers, an audit is not an unusual practice, and in fact, expected.”

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