(from press release)
In a Feb. 9 communication to the S.C. Employment Security Commission the U.S. Department of Labor Regional Director Dianna Milhollin defended the South Carolina Employment Security Commission against charges from State Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom that there are irregularities in the agency’s reporting of stimulus funds.
In a report this morning at Governor Mark Sanford’s cabinet meeting, State Comptroller General Eckstrom stated that he has notified a federal inspector general of the U.S. Department of Labor and the FBI about accounting problems with federal stimulus dollars used to pay federal extended benefits.
J. William McLeod, Chairman of the ESC’s three-member commission, said the Commission was surprised by the comments.
“In fact, the Commission has been working with the Comptroller General’s staff and hand delivered the requested information this morning. We had staff members working over the weekend on this matter, and were in constant contact with the Department of Labor and the State Comptroller General’s office.”
McLeod also stated that “The Commission has been informed by the U.S. Department of Labor that the programming problems experienced by the agency are no different than the difficulties faced by other states.”
In a letter to Unemployment Insurance Deputy Executive Director Allen Larson, Region 3 UI Director Dianna Milhollin stated that like most states in the country, the SCESC, “has had considerable difficulty in programming and properly reporting for the stimulus funding received for both program and administrative funding for the UI program.”
Milhollin acknowledged that there have been many discussions between the SCESC and the Department of Labor since last fall, and that the reporting has been “complicated because federal extension (EUC) funding for benefits and administrative costs have been paid with three different funding sources (stimulus and non-stimulus) based on whether or not the claims were filed on specific dates.” Milhollin said that South Carolina is not alone in facing this problem.
“Additionally, many states, including SC, have had difficulty programming the IT changes needed for this reporting with the many complicated IT changes required by the numerous federal extensions and changes with both State extended benefits and federal extension benefit claims.”