Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

In March 2022, the Office of the Michigan Auditor General released a performance audit of the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) that revealed the “UIA did not ensure pre-employment criminal history background checks were conducted on 5,508 staffing agency and MWA (Michigan Works! Agency) workers.”

The “UIA did not conduct, or require staffing agencies and MWAs to conduct, pre-employment criminal background checks on their workers assigned to UIA. Also, UIA did not communicate to the staffing agencies and MWAs the type and history of criminal convictions would preclude individuals from working at UIA.”

The performance audit identified that 71 of 169 workers (42 percent) were “still employed with one or more misdemeanor and/or felony convictions for crimes such as embezzlement, illegal sale/use of financial transaction devices, false pretenses with intent to defraud, identity theft, and armed robbery.”

The audit recommended that the UIA implement procedures to ensure that pre-employment criminal history background checks are run on all individuals prior to starting work at the UIA and that the UIA define the type and history of criminal convictions that would preclude individuals from working at the UIA.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allowed the UIA to engage temporary staff to aid in the processing of unemployment insurance (UI) applications and claims. A copy of the complete performance audit is available here

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