Joint Statement by Senators Lisa Baker and Kim Ward on Auditor General’s SIIF Audit

Harrisburg – Senators Lisa Baker and Kim Ward, past and current chairs of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee, issued the following statement regarding Auditor General DePasquale’s announcement that he has launched a performance audit of the Department of Labor and Industry’s Unemployment Compensation Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund (SIIF):

“The decision by the auditor general to move forward with an audit of the unemployment compensation centers is a very positive and essential step toward responsibly resolving this dispute.  His track record indicates that he will undertake a thorough review, put forth factual findings, and provide useful recommendations for efficiently providing these vital services at a more controllable cost.

At a time when taxpayers are demanding greater accountability, we need this hard-eyed look at the financial and operational aspects of the centers, to assure both efficiency and cost-effectiveness are realized.

Important questions are being asked about how funds were spent.  It appears a lot of money intended to upgrade the system was instead underwriting basic operations.  Now, with the closures and layoffs instituted by the administration, Pennsylvania is left with a system that by all accounts is unequipped to serve the jobless, who are owed timely assistance.

Our hope is that the audit will yield a blueprint for a better result.”

Contact:

Jen Wilson (Baker)
jwilson@pasen.gov
(570) 675-3931

Rob Ritson (Ward)
rritson@pasen.gov
(724) 600-7002