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Nelson wants feds to probe Scott’s rollout of jobless website

by John Kennedy | October 30th, 2013

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson asked federal officials Wednesday to examine problems involving the rollout of Florida’s new Connect system for those seeking unemployment benefits.

The move comes even as U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was being grilled by congressional Republicans for the similarly balky start of enrollment in new federal health exchanges. Nelson said that Floridians seeking jobless benefits they have earned are entitled to better from their government.

“The main purpose behind this federal-state program is to help stabilize the economy during recessions,” Nelson said in his letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.  “But it certainly won’t be of much help in my state if those who have lost their jobs face protracted delays in seeking or receiving benefits.”

The Florida unemployment compensation system’s new, $63 million website left a trail of frustrated users who filled Facebook and Twitter with tales of online malfunctions and help lines that don’t work when it debuted earlier this month.

Officials with the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the site, said Wednesday that 230,000 claims have been processed so far on the new system. Calls to technical help desks are down more than 60 percent since last week, officials said.

“DEO continues to work around the clock to ensure the needs of every claimant are addressed,” said Jesse Panuccio, DEO’s executive director. “We welcome any assistance and input Senator Nelson and the federal government can provide as we identify and fix website problems where they arise.”

CONNECT was developed by Deloitte Consulting, which has had problems in recent years with technology contracts in California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, where last summer it fell two years behind and $6 million over-budget in delivering a similar, unemployment claims system.

New York-based Deloitte LLP is one of the nation’s largest management and information-technology consulting firms. It’s among a handful of corporate giants providing information technology services to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Internal Revenue Service, as part of the Oct. 1 rollout of health exchanges.

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32 Responses to “Nelson wants feds to probe Scott’s rollout of jobless website”

  1. oracle Says:

    Where was Bill Nelson when the Feds were taking over health care ?

  2. Florida Mom Says:

    The Feds did not “take over healthcare”. Hyperbole and fear mongering at its worst. Bill Nelson is right to be concerned. SNAP cuts go into effect on Friday, and that impact added to the failure of the new unemployment computer program is going to be a calamity that elected officials should want to address. Go Bill.

  3. kelly Says:

    Technological challenges are a bi-partisan problem. The contracting process is clearly flawed. Low bidders win, but cost over-runs are where the profits are.

  4. Blondeone Says:

    Can we just get rid of Prick Snott? We have been struggling with him for toooooo long!

  5. Prejudicial Newspaper = PB Post Says:

    The Feds HAVE taken over healthcare.

    And the ELITISTS like Senator Bill Nelson will have ELITIST HEALTHCARE PLANS- THE BEST- THE PLATINUM PLANS, while we, those who pay taxes, will fund 75% of EVERY government employee’s plan.

    Every single, solitary government employee: WE will fund 75% of their coverage, in addition to paying for OUR own and ALSO subsidizing the healthcare for those who can’t afford to pay for their healthcare and will get government healthcare subsidies.

    What’s FAIR about that? Who do you complain to about THAT? The government? The government is a multitangled, DISTANT entity.

    Just think of dealing with the IRS-then apply that same mentality to dealing with ObamaCare and the government officials whose decisions are the LAST decisions for YOUR healthcare.

    Get government OUT of our healthcare, OUT of our Education system.

    Keep it LOCAL-at a State level-where constituents are closer to the entities that CONTROL our lives.

    And the Palm Beach Post needs to STOP pandering to their favored political party. The Post gears their ‘articles’ to espousing positive pieces of Democrats -ie, the recent Debbie Wasserman Schultz piece and continues to bash republicans.

    NO party is perfect. There are good aspects to BOTH parties, but the Post is prejudice; they discriminate against political parties and favor democrats.

    It’s no wonder that people are shrinking away from the Post’s constant slanted reporting. There is no trust that the Post will be balanced. Who wants to pay for an UNbalanced newspaper?

    Apparently, not enough to cut the Post Times losses and cuts to their staff.

  6. LOL Says:


    To combat the failure of President Obama’s roll-out of Obamacare;

    Democrat Senator Bill Nelson is putting out a ‘media piece’,

    with the co operation of the PBP Times,

    to distract from the President’s own Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius’, and the democrat epic monstrosity of a roll-out on their healthcare system.

    See, it’s ok when there is a failure with democrats and their plans.

  7. ObamaScare Says:

    Calling Dr. Howard… Dr. Fine…Dr. Obama…
    Calling Dr. Howard…Dr. Fine… Dr. Obama.
    Your ObamaCare program is crashing. Call the doctor! (If you can find one.)

  8. victims galore Says:

    And, earth to Bill Nelson, while you are at it will you please make the Feds do their job and investigate Lake Sheriff Gary Borders and his Green Isle Boys Ranch rapes cover ups of 20 + years!

    We still have a brutal rapist walking the streets and committing more violent acts against unsuspecting victims. Google Gary Borders Green Isle Ranch and you will find 100′s of facts concerning the history of this house of horrors.

    Oh Yea! And would you have them look into how many dates of birth the Lake Tax Collector Bob McKee has used over the years and how many felonies he has covered up? Thanks Bill.

    P. S. We really do thank you for helping the victims of the Dozier School. But we are victims too and we need your help as well.

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