Lawsuit goes after state computer contractors for unemployment insurance flap

Source: Emily Lawler, MLive, March 8, 2017

Michiganders who say they were falsely flagged for unemployment fraud by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency computer system are going after the state contractors who provided the technology in a federal lawsuit. … From Oct. 2013 through Aug. 2015, a state computer system flagged people for fraudulent unemployment claims. In some cases it sent a message to an online unemployment account they’d stopped using long ago, and then automatically found people guilty when they did not reply and assessed 400 percent fines. The UIA is currently reviewing 50,000 potential cases of fraud flagged during that time period. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, is going after the computer companies behind the computer technology that flagged and automatically determined people had committed fraud. It names three vendors involved with the UIA’s computer system: FAST Enterprises, SAS Analytics and CSG Government Solutions. The suit claims those state vendors violated the 4th and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution and parts of the state constitution as well. … People who were determined to have received overpayments were required to pay back the amount plus a 400 percent penalty. … Two of the companies named in the suit still have active contracts with the state to service its unemployment agency. FAST Enterprises has a $47 million contract to modernize UIA computer systems and SAS Analytics has a $14.2 million contract for fraud detection at the UIA and the Food Assistance Program. …