Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Draft will be used to contract for Unemployment Insurance System Modernization Project
MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is releasing a Request for Information (RFI) as part of the process to modernize Wisconsin's Unemployment Insurance (UI) system. The RFI is in the form of a draft Request for Proposals (RFP), along with a set of questions to guide respondents.
On March 18, 2021, DWD announced that it was moving forward with its modernization effort. This RFI is the first public step of this effort and was drafted as part of a partnership with 18F, part of the Technology Transformation Services (TTS) within the federal government's General Services Administration.
"DWD is excited to take this next step towards a modern UI system that Wisconsinites can count on during their time of need," DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said. "Through the RFI process, we will learn valuable information about the types of services and systems available to help bring Wisconsin's UI program out of the 1970s."
DWD is interested in hearing from a wide range of people and organizations as part of this RFI, which is open through June 9, 2021. The feedback received will be used to validate or revise the RFP ahead of its formal issuance, slated for later in June.
As part of the draft RFP included in the RFI, DWD envisions developing a modern UI computer system composed through a series of smaller component upgrades that can be released for use as they are completed, utilizing an encasement strategy, which allows the outdated UI computer system to transition to a new system in a low risk, controlled fashion that keeps services available to claimants, employers, and staff.
Gov. Evers' Special Session Senate Bill 1 (SS SB 1), now 2021 Act 4, went into effect on Feb. 26. Although the bill did not provide any funding for the modernization project that Gov. Evers requested, the governor called the bill a “first step.” Act 4 required DWD to undertake the modernization project by June 30. Act 4 also provided the Governor additional authority to waive procurement requirements when necessary to help expedite the process.