The California State Auditor has released a scathing report on the inner workings of the state's Employment Development Department.
The emergency audit details the agency's lack of preparation, poor planning and ineffective management. The report found the EDD changed processes after shutdowns during the pandemic that was supposed to process and pay claims faster. Those changes were meant to be temporary and were responsible for opening the department up to $11 billion in fraud. Auditor Elaine Howle also found the call center was run poorly and the new one opened during the pandemic was ineffective.
Howle said the EDD was aware of its failings, particularly during the Great Recession, but rather than prepare for an economic crisis, it continued to operate the same as it always had.