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“Our agency has welcomed these audits from the beginning and we continue to do so. The Employment Security Department and State Auditor’s Office have the shared goal of a secure and continuously improving unemployment system that consistently works better for Washingtonians. We remain firmly committed to full transparency and are collaborating closely with the State Auditor and her staff, as we have all along.

“The State Auditor’s Office is doing important work with these audits, and we have been doing everything we can to be responsive to them. This includes setting up new escalation processes so auditors can get what they need as quickly as possible and maintaining fully open lines of communication. At the same time, our agency is navigating several complexities. For example, we are supporting multiple audits simultaneously, including federal audits being conducted on every state, all in the midst of a crisis with some of the highest unemployment in Washington’s history. In addition, many of the same staff who need to respond to the audits are also critical to the delivery of benefits, which are a lifeline to our customers.

“We recognize deeply that the success of these audits directly benefits Washingtonians because the knowledge gained will help us meet our top priority – getting benefits to Washingtonians who are eligible for them, and greatly need them, during this crisis.”