State of Vermont Receives Support and Achieves Clarity to Better Serve UI Constituents
Vermont Department of Labor worked with Resultant to transparently assess the current state of their UI system; identify fraud identification and prevention solutions; and position the agency for long-term success by examining resources, technology, training, funding, communications, workflows, and policies.
Setting the Stage
Mapping A Strategic Vision
The Vermont Legislature directed the State Auditor’s Office to contract with outside unemployment insurance experts to identify opportunities for improvement in Vermont Department of Labor’s (VDOL) detection and prevention of unemployment fraud and overpayments. VDOL worked with Resultant to transparently assess their current state; identify fraud identification and prevention solutions; and position the agency for long-term success by examining resources, technology, training, funding, communications, workflows, and policies.
In developing a strategic vision, we worked with VDOL to accurately assess their current state, define desired capabilities and outcomes for a future state, and identify technical improvement opportunities to bridge the gap between those two states of being. Vermont’s unemployment program currently operates on a forty-plus-year-old legacy mainframe system and has just begun transitioning to a more current, user-friendly system.
A Three-Phased Approach Guided Our Work
Phase 1: Process Discovery
The first phase of the engagement included examining processes, identifying pain points, and discussing ways to remain scalable in the decades to come. Because no solution will give desired outcomes without first getting very clear on what those are, we began with an assessment methodology designed to explore the day-to-day experiences of claimants, employers, VDOL, and a variety of other interested stakeholders as they interface with the existing unemployment program:
Phase 2: Process Maturity and Alignment
Developing a maturity matrix helped steer conversations around process enhancement and organizational growth by defining a range of possible aspirational goals for key focus areas within the UI fraud and overpayment detection processes. To establish the customized maturity matrix, we facilitated internal conversations and exercises with VDOL to first identify the matrix measurement criteria, capture the maturity levels, identify their current state maturity level, and then their ideal future state. Placing these states on the maturity matrix facilitated discussions about interim steps toward their ultimate goal. Together, we mapped the course toward their next realistic desired state of maturity.
How the Maturity Matrix Process Brought Clarity to Next Steps:
Phase 3: Report and Recommendations
Resultant prepared an 87-page detailed report outlining the difficult challenges faced by UI administrators throughout the country brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic and notes VDOL’s commitment to delivering services to every individual who needs them even in the face of new, pandemic-related challenges. We delivered a presentation before two Vermont legislative committees to bring awareness and transparency to both the current state and desired future state and bolster support toward next steps. The report, publicly available on this link, specifies the desired future state of UI operation and provides clear recommendations to achieve that.
Our research, discovery, and evaluation findings led us to establish these recommendations, arranged by action timeline below.
UI program stakeholders desire to better serve Vermonters by providing UI benefits in an accurate and timely manner while mitigating fraud against the UI Trust Fund. We helped them achieve these outcomes.