Oregon’s Employment Department issued duplicate payments to unemployed residents

Oregon citizens who are unemployed received more than their fair share of benefits, according to a recent audit that revealed the state's Employment Department made duplicate payments, resulting in a significant amount of overpayments.

According to the Statesman Journal, the total of overpayments to unemployed residents is approximately $32.6 million. This amount is part of the $2.3 billion that was paid out in benefits over the past year. Auditors state that instances of duplicate payments were common, as the department did not look at records that showed some unemployed citizens had already been paid. However, investigators say the errors were not done intentionally and the agency has made a good job of implementing changes to avoid duplicate payment situations in the future.

"We found that reasonable efforts were being made to ensure transactions were complete, accurate and valid during input, processing, and output," the report said. "However, the department could improve its handling of unusual or complicated claims and overpayments."

Auditors also found several other areas that needed improvement within the department, including disaster recovery methods, security of its systems, and monitoring changes to code.

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