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Overview

Overview


During the 2021 Legislative Session, Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature directed, and provided funding for, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to undertake a sustainable, continuous modernization effort of the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System to implement immediate system performance and functional improvement needs while positioning DEO with an integrated modular cloud-based system that is secure, scalable, and sustainable.

The Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program includes approximately 20 projects which are grouped into the following categories: infrastructure, software, data and analytics, and security. These initiatives address the immediate need to improve performance and usability of the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System while also establishing the architectural framework and processes necessary to implement future business process and technology changes efficiently and effectively.

These initiatives will take place over two years and set a solid foundation for ongoing modernization efforts to further improve the delivery of Reemployment Assistance services to Floridians and coordination with workforce partners to empower Floridians through career development activities.

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Roadmap

Roadmap


DEO was provided a suggested Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap with the ISF Final Report for Improved Delivery of Reemployment Assistance Benefits in February 2021 to further outline the process to modernize the state’s Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System.

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DEO has refreshed the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program Roadmap as of November 2021.


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Updates

Updates

November 2021:

  • Submitted three additional federally mandated reports, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 218 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and ETA 207 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation reports, to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Data Warehouse. Additionally, the ETA 902 Regular report is ready to be submitted from the Data Warehouse should a natural disaster occur. The remaining 41 federally mandated reports are prioritized and queued for development and data validation.

October 2021: 

  • Engaged the Executive Office of the Governor’s Reimagining Education and Career Help (REACH) Office to seek input and ensure the alignment of Reemployment Assistance Modernization efforts were encompassed and consistent with that of the state’s workforce system integration.
  • Secured a Strategic Planning Office to serve as a single point of contact to ensure the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program remains within budget, the schedule remains timely and steady, the scope is fully developed in order to meet the needs of Floridians and DEO, and the status of reporting is systematic, precise, and accurately reflects each project’s progress.
  • Submitted three additional federally mandated reports, including the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 5159 Regular, ETA 5130 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and ETA 902 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance reports, to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Data Warehouse. Additionally, the weekly Disaster Automated Reporting and Information System report is ready to be submitted from the Data Warehouse should a natural disaster occur. The remaining 44 federally mandated reports are prioritized and queued for development and data validation.
  • Submitted the October 2021 Monthly Status Report for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program to the Executive Office of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget as well as to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to allow claimant accounts to be locked or unlocked, as appropriate, in real-time rather than taking the system offline to process requests. This better protects and serves claimants.
  • Developed the technical environment in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center to allow claimants to securely upload documentation, such as proof of wages, so claimants could request a monetary redetermination on their claim and receive benefits.
  • Integrated workflows in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center and distributed claimant issues to trained staff to allow for more efficient and timely resolution of Reemployment Assistance claims.
  • Developed a section of the Reemployment Assistance Help Center for overpayment information, including guidance and options for claimants, such as filing an appeal, submitting a waiver, and repayment.
  • Procured a cloud-based solution for the Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center. A cloud-based Customer Service Center, once launched, will ensure the Reemployment Assistance program is accessible to all callers, even during periods of high demand.

September 2021: 

  • Submitted the first of 49 federally mandated reports, the Employment and Training Administration 5159 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation report, to the U.S. Department of Labor from the Data Warehouse.
  • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center was enhanced to provide timely updates and correspondence to users who submit a request for help to increase transparency, and to establish an identity verification process for claimants who are less than 18 years of age.
  • Expanded Reemployment Assistance Help Center functionality to allow DEO and Local Workforce Development Boards to better serve claimants.
  • Deployed automated processes in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center to streamline self-service options for users whose identity has been authenticated.
  • Submitted the September 2021 Monthly Status Report for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program to the Executive Office of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget as well as to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
  • The Identity Management and Access Control project was initiated ahead of schedule to provide increased security and multi-factor authentication for existing claimants, employers, and third-party administrators before accessing the Reemployment Assistance system. Since the implementation of this common best-practice tool, DEO has seen a significant decrease in fraudulent activity.

August 2021: 

  • Hired a Director for the DEO’s Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency to provide leadership for critical objectives, priority issues, and to promote key DEO initiatives and strategic planning efforts, including but not limited to Reemployment Assistance Modernization.
  • Conducted a kick-off meeting with the Florida Digital Service, the Florida Department of Revenue, and the Florida Department of Financial Services to seek input on recommended Reemployment Assistance enhancements.
  • The Identity Management and Access Control project was initiated ahead of schedule to provide increased front-end security and multi-factor authentication for new claimants. Since the implementation of this common best-practice tool, DEO has seen a significant decrease in fraudulent activity.

July 2021: 

  • FY 2021-2022 began, providing the necessary appropriated funding to officially begin modernization efforts.
  • DEO procured Independent Validation and Verification services to provide independent programmatic oversight and quality assurance services, as well as to ensure the overall value of the state’s Reemployment Modernization efforts are achieved and that Floridians are provided a product that meets their needs with an enhanced user experience.
  • The Department completed the Data Warehouse project ahead of schedule to improve DEO’s access to data and statistics as well as boost the system’s overall performance. The Data Warehouse serves as a central repository for all Reemployment Assistance federal reporting data, which allows the agency to reduce the size of the current Reemployment Assistance database.

June 2021: 

  • DEO issued a Request for Information on System and Software Integration services to help support future procurements targeting Business Process Optimization and Integration to enhance the customer experience.

May 2021: 

  • Governor Ron DeSantis signed and enacted HB 1463 on May 7, 2021, which established the Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency and created a path for implementing, and reporting on the progress of, an integrated, modular system hosted in a cloud service for the Reemployment Assistance program.
  • DEO launched the Reporting project ahead of schedule. The Reporting project includes re-writing all federally mandated Reemployment Assistance reports using the new Data Warehouse as a source of reporting data. The U.S. Department of Labor requires the state to submit weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports of unemployment programs administered by the state to measure workload and programmatic activity, and to ensure the State of Florida is issuing funds timely, efficiently, and accurately.

April 2021: 

  • The Florida Legislature unanimously passed HB 1463, which established the Office of Economic Accountability and Transparency and created a path for implementing, and reporting on the progress of, an integrated, modular system hosted in a cloud service for the Reemployment Assistance program.

March 2021: 

  • The Reemployment Assistance Help Center was developed and launched for claimants and employers to both provide and receive additional information from DEO.

February 2021: 

  • The ISF Final Report for Improved Delivery of Reemployment Assistance Benefits was published. This report provides the suggested roadmap for the Reemployment Assistance Modernization Program.
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