Gundeep Ahluwalia: DOL Looks to Partner With Industry on System Modernization Initiatives

Gundeep Ahluwalia
Gundeep Ahluwalia

The Department of Labor (DoL) will begin to search for partnerships within industry to address challenges in processing unemployment benefits amid the current health crisis, the department reported Thursday.

Gundeep Ahluwalia, chief information officer (CIO) of the DoL, told the publication in an interview that Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia is working to establish a “response team” that will manage the department’s systems that may be overwhelmed during the pandemic.

Ahluwalia added that his office is working with the U.S. Digital Services as well as Federal CIO and 2020 Wash100 Award winner Suzette Kent in efforts to provide support to states in need of assistance with their unemployment systems.

The DoL is developing a plan to ensure that systems are "more organized over the next few years," Ahluwalia stated. The DoL’s systems, which are designed to handle over 200 claims per week, are now processing up to 1,200 claims every half hour, according to Ahluwalia.

“We built a network of vendors,” Ahluwalia said. “So can IBM come in? Can we bring in KPMG? Can we interact with Microsoft, Amazon Web Services? All these partners who have wonderful relationships not only at the federal level but also with the states. We tried to bring all of them together to help out.”

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