An audit of the state unemployment system revealed that agency in "shambles" and did not do nearly enough to warn lawmakers that S.C.'s jobless benefits fund was running out of money. And by running out of money, I mean it's now $740 in the red.
Auditors found a number of management problems at the agency, and encouraged the agency to review its mission while it seeks a new executive director. Among the problems auditors found:
- The agency stopped prosecuting fraud claims, a total of $7.3 million in the budget year ended June 30, 2009.
- The agency has not corrected shortcomings in its accounting.
- The agency did not investigate claims of mismanagement at one of its work force centers.
- The agency did not warn lawmakers about a change in state law needed to maintain federal jobless benefits, forcing the Legislature to return in October.
Contributing even further to the state's unemployment woes, the audit found that the agency's job placement program does not put a high priority on placing those who are out of work and lists less than half of all vacant S.C. jobs.