Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Martin renews call to fix broken unemployment agency after audit reveals failures
RELEASE|December 28, 2023
Contact: David Martin

State Rep. David Martin again called for legislative leaders to renew bipartisan efforts to reform Michigan’s unemployment agency after the nonpartisan Office of the Auditor General released a new audit this week.

The report further exposes the failure of Gov. Whitmer’s Unemployment Insurance Agency to investigate and address fraud and improper payments during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the OAG’s fifth and final audit of the UIA in response to a 2020 request by legislative leaders.

“The report reveals continued flaws that reinforce the need for real, lasting change,” said Martin, R-Davison. “Ignoring the cracks in the unemployment system and turning a blind eye to fraud are unacceptable. Action to fix this broken system is long overdue.”

Despite the Whitmer administration’s claim to have fixed problems at the troubled agency, the audit released this week shows the UIA improperly paid out benefits to individuals who were deceased, incarcerated, or living in long-term care facilities as recently as 2022 — years after the start of the pandemic.

The audit into the Investigations Division at the Whitmer administration’s UIA found that between January 2020 and October 2022, the agency failed to attempt to identify a large share of imposter claims or to recover many payments and penalties. The report revealed another $245.1 million in potentially improper payments to ineligible individuals, even after the agency found that an individual was dead or in prison. The UIA did not identify or act to evaluate whether the payments were appropriate.

Since he took office as a state representative in 2021, Martin has been a strong advocate for unemployment system reform. He sponsored a resolution calling for the resignation of the troubled agency’s director in October 2021, a month before she resigned.

Martin and fellow House Republicans also introduced House Bills 4369-4374, a plan to reform the unemployment agency, increase transparency, prevent fraud, and improve customer service for both unemployed workers seeking benefits and the employers who pay taxes into the unemployment system.

“The latest audit sheds light on continued failures at the unemployment agency and emphasizes the need for immediate, bipartisan action,” Martin said. “It’s clear that we need to pursue reforms that prevent fraud, add accountability, and improve service to the businesses and workers who pay into this system and expect it to be available when they need it most.”


Michigan House Republicans

© 2009 - 2024 Michigan House Republicans. All Rights Reserved.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.