* Mike Miletich…
The Illinois Auditor General has released a two year compliance report for the state’s Department of Employment Security.
While the audit addresses issues with finances and equipment records, the biggest takeaway is weakness in cybersecurity. The report only covers issues within the department from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019. So, it does not include the massive data breach within the IDES unemployment system discovered this May.
Auditor General Frank Mautino wrote IDES is responsible for computer systems with large collections of confidential information: names, addresses, social security numbers and tax information. However, the audit explains the Department failed to classify data to ensure that information would be protected from cyber attacks.
“Department officials indicated due to the nature of the work done by the Department, almost all data sets are classified as high risk,” stated Jim Dahlquist, Administrative Manager for the Auditor General’s office. “However, this documentation could not be provided during the engagement, which resulted in the finding.”
The audit findings are here.
* Meanwhile, IDES’ problems continue…
Thousands of people are continuing to call the Illinois Department of Employment Security, hoping for a different result. Tira Clement has been on that merry-go-round since she was laid off in early May. Within days, she applied for unemployment but was rejected. She then applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but was told to try for regular unemployment instead.
“I kept trying to call in, kept trying to call in, it was always busy; and then the system would just hang up on you, so you could never actually speak to someone regarding the problem,” she explained. Finally, she heard back.
“I get a call on a Saturday morning, from someone and they said that yes, I was eligible for PUA, they didn’t know why the system was doing this. They said that it was a glitch and that they had to put a ticket in with their supervisor,” she explained. She was told that, in about a week, she should be able to apply. But instead, nearly two weeks later, she’s still couldn’t get anywhere.
“We’re calling ourselves the PUA Illinois glitchers. There’s a whole group of us who are in this situation.” Clement says she’ll likely be brought back to work in the fall, but she’s afraid of what will happen in the meantime. “Savings is running out, and I need someone from IDES to look at what’s going on with me and tell me what I’m supposed to be doing. I have no idea, and no one to talk to.”