State withholds $3 million payment over flawed Connect siteby John Kennedy | December 20th, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott’s administration said Friday it’s withholding a $3 million payment to consulting giant Deloitte for the state’s problem-plagued Connect website, which has frustrated thousands of Floridians seeking jobless benefits.
Scott’s chief of the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity also said he is instituting a $15,000-a-day penalty against Deloitte Consulting for failing to deliver a fully functioning system.
“While Deloitte has made progress over the last few weeks and many claimants are able to process claims without incident, the bottom line is that the overall system is still not working properly,” said Jesse Panuccio, DEO’s executive director.
The $63 million website debuted Oct. 15. Since then, more than 950,000 claims have been filed and more than $272 million has been paid to claimants, DEO said.
But frustrated users also have filled Facebook, Twitter and Scott’s email inbox with complaints about online malfunctions and help lines that leave them on hold for hours.
“Ten weeks of money that belongs to my husband being held up in lala land because no one knows what they’re doing,” Jessica Minafo Ryan said last week, in a posting on DEO’s Facebook account.