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Monday, June 10, 2013 - 1:00am

Audit Says GA Labor Dept. Missed Millions

A federal audit says Georgia's Labor Department failed to have adequate systems in place to detect and recover millions of dollars in unemployment benefits improperly paid over a three-year period.

The Office of Inspector General with the U.S. Department of Labor says the state agency "missed opportunities" and did not implement a system to detect overpayments of unemployment benefits until December 2011, even though that system had been available since 2008.

During that time, the audit says Georgia overpaid $58.7 million in unemployment benefits and recovered just 25 percent, or $14.9 million.

Agency spokesman Sam Hall says the department has "made significant inroads with some of the issues that resulted in the overpayments." Hall says the office has focused on upgrading its technology and implementing programs to catch the overpayments.