Deadline nears for fixing unemployment system problems

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Two months after the launch of the state’s new unemployment benefits computer system, it remains plagued with problems, $6 million over initial estimates, and unable to make proper payments to hundreds of financially strapped workers hunting for jobs.

The company that built the system, Deloitte Consulting, has until the end of the month to fix the problems without penalty, under the $46 million contract. It’s unclear what remedies are available to the state if the system is still not working properly after that.

Massachusetts officials declined to answer questions about the specific terms of the contract. But Michelle Amante, the state official in charge of overseeing Deloitte’s performance defended the system in an interview this week.

“We fundamentally believe the system is working,” said Amante.

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