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UI ITSC develops checklists as quick reference guides for states on several topics including, Security Preparation, Pre-Implementation of a UI IT System, and an inventory of cross matches and interfaces states use.
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Based on a state query on adjudication/non-monetary assignment practices and various experiences across states using automated workflow/work items, NASWA/ITSC held two conference calls for states to share successful practices on these topics. Two sessions were held on February 28 and March 1, 2019 with 39 states attending. States shared their practices for assigning issues to adjudicators, many states also shared the approaches that they have tried before and how they modified it or went a new direction to address their challenges. Each state shared their current staffing and workload levels, and their processes.
Many states, as part of a new UI IT system deployment and/or portal implementations as well as SSO implementations, are rolling-out new credentials to their customers (claimants/job seekers, employers). This is even occurring across ES and WIOA partner programs. In support of a few states recently, we have hosted and facilitated sharing discussions on successful practices and lessons learned with a handful of states who have recently rolled-out new credentials as part of new UI IT Systems deployments. Given the criticality of rolling out new credentials, specific requests from other states regarding this topic, and ensuring we optimize security with customer access. NASWA hosted 3 sessions in October 2018 on the topic of which 34 states attended overall.
Many states are familiar with cross matching UI claims with the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) which are used for the prevention, detection, and collection of benefit overpayments. But, there are some cross matches that some states are not using or do not know about. At the request of the state of New Jersey, the ITSC compiled a "checklist" of common cross matches and data exchanges that most states use. The checklist presents both federal and state specific cross matches and data exchanges with short descriptions of each and the corresponding UI functional areas. Also included in this checklist are descriptions of the various ICON (Interstate Connection Network) data exchanges.
The checklist provides a high-level view security preparedness of the IT systems supporting UI operations. This checklist is focused on formal assessments based on NIST 800-53. This includes assessments conducted by and for the IRS, SSA and NDNH. These assessments cover 17 general areas (e.g., control families) and within each of these areas there are dozens of subtopics that may be addressed. In some situations, a federal assessor’s checklist may contain a more exhaustive list of individual items. The checklist does NOT cover every area that may be reviewed by a Federal assessor. The focus is on those controls whose absence will lead to a critical finding.
Building on lessons learned from previous state implementations of modernized UI IT systems, ITSC has developed a UI IT Modernization Pre-Implementation Planning Checklist for states to use prior to "going live" with a new system. This comprehensive checklist denotes critical functional areas that states should verify prior to launching including, but not limited to, technical IT functions and UI business processes that interface with the new system. The list of critical areas identified in the checklist includes, among others, verification for essential benefit and tax functions, Interstate Connection (ICON) network and UI reporting interfaces, system error handling, and end-user support mechanisms. It also covers alternate access options and usability issues, policies and procedures to be developed and disseminated, technical preparation, call center and customer service operations, staffing and staff training on new system operations, help desk support, management oversight, vendor support and communications. ETA believes that the use of this checklist as a verification tool will help states ensure the availability of mission critical functions as the state prepares for the launch of a new system.