• By The Financial District


Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week he was working on a long-term plan to solve the problems people are having with the California Employment Development Department.

Newsom said a lot of those problems are related to the agency's aging computer infrastructure, according to KCRA 3 News.

Lawmakers have called for an audit of EDD, saying people working for the agency are now coming forward to talk about the problems they are having with the department.

"Now, we have whistleblowers. Now, we have people on the inside who are willing to tell the truth, and willing to let people know that the training is not what it should be. That the technology is so outdated," said Assemblymember Jim Patterson, R-Fresno. "They get 13 weeks of training and when they get on the phone line, they aren't even equipped to handle phones. They are basically there to simply run interference, in my judgment, to the executives in the executive suite at EDD. This is typical of California bureaucracies."

In a statement, Democratic Assemblymember Rudy Salas said: "I am disappointed that the Joint Legislative Audit Committee was not scheduled for a hearing next week. As Chair, I intend to seek emergency audit authority to have the State Auditor look into at least two pressing matters regarding unemployment insurance (EDD) and personal protective equipment (PPE). Californians deserve greater accountability and transparency during these unprecedented times.”

EDD saw a surge in unemployment applications in March and April due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting stay-at-home order. Since the pandemic hit California, EDD has processed more than 7 million unemployment claims.