Jenny Rae’s EDD Response & Fix:
Under Newsom’s leadership, California’s Employee Development Department (EDD) lost up to $31 billion in fraud in 2020 alone. Jenny Rae answers two questions about the EDD:
- How would have handled and/or tried to prevent the massive fraud and terrible claimant service problems of the EDD?
- If elected, what will you do to revamp the EDD?
Q1: I’m running for Governor to free Californians to live, work, and breathe again. The data doesn’t lie: Gavin Newsom has failed at managing the EDD.
I’m a leader who gets results – so I would have authorized spending for claims processing capacity in March 2020. A good leader mobilizes a team to plan ahead. In addition, instead of offering a no-bid contract for phone service to the same company that botched the 2013 computer upgrade, I would have opened a bidding war between providers to secure the best staffing support for the EDD at the best price.
I would have also mandated cybersecurity and identity verification systems for the EDD. Despite repeated fraud warnings from the federal government, the EDD waited 6 months and processed over 7 million claims before it began flagging addresses with unusually high numbers of claims. According to a recent audit, “the most egregious example” included 1,700 claims coming from a single address. Experts say fixes could have been implemented in as little as 4 days, but Gavin Newsom just didn’t seem to care.
Q2: I will take 5 steps to reform the EDD.
- First, bring in a new leadership team with experience getting results. We must fix these issues.
- Second, ensure the EDD institutes a training program so representatives know how to solve claims issues.
- Third, update ancient computer systems that currently run on a 60-year-old programming language.
- Fourth, implement state-of-the art cybersecurity, an ID verification system, and rapid employer notifications to eliminate fraud.
- Fifth, reintroduce eligibility requirements for unemployment aid.
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