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Frequently Asked Questions - Modernization

​The Modernization Program is a multi-year initiative focused on transforming the agency's business processes and core technology systems. Computer systems supporting receipt of unemployment insurance (UI) taxes, Paid Leave Oregon contributions, payment of UI and Paid Leave Oregon benefits, and delivery of employment services will be replaced or established. Further, business processes will be transformed to take advantage of opportunities and benefits available through new system capabilities, ensuring the agency can continue to fulfill our mission to Support Business and Promote Employment.​

​The primary goals for the Modernization Program are to:
  • ​​Enhance the customer experience. Deliver improved services, such as online self-service, automation, access to data, and integration with partners.
  • Transform business processes. Leverage modern system capabilities to provide improvements and efficiencies in business processes, deliver new tools for our employees, and support more effective service delivery to our customers.
  • Improve data security. Improve our ability to anticipate and respond to data security threats and manage access to data for our customers.
  • Modernize technology. Replace the agency's aging computer systems that support unemployment insurance taxes, payment of unemployment insurance benefits, and delivery of employment services.
  • Provide expandable technology. Deliver a system capable of supporting new programs and functionality needs.

​The program’s steering committee developed these principles to guide our decisions and process throughout the life of the program. 

  • ​​Focus on our customers’ experience. Advocate for our customers’ experience, while enabling our employees and partners to improve their service delivery.
  • Deliver core services first. Ensure we can continue our core services as we plan for improvements, flexibility, and future expansion.
  • Configure over customize whenever possible. Adapt, transform, and improve processes, rather than customizing the new systems to existing processes.
  • Seek opportunities for self-service. Provide self-service opportunities and maintain equitable access for our customers.
  • Automate thoughtfully. Automate repeatable processes that don’t require human judgment.​​​

​​​​​​​OED received $85,574,641 from the Federal government in 2009.​​

​Since 2009, we have spent $3,260,401 of this money on Modernization and used $616,957 to pay claims. We have also spent an additional $ 3,187,384 of other agency funds on Modernization since 2017.​

We have preserved the majority of this funding ($81,697,283) by skillfully managing our UI trust fund. Many other states spent their modernization funding during the Great Recession to pay claims and operating expenses. Oregon was able to pay all claims and operate without tapping into Modernization funds.​​

​Yes. Modernization is being done under the oversight of several independent bodies, including Enterprise Information Services and the Legislative Fiscal Office. In addition, independent quality management services (“iQMS") provided by a contractor overseen by Enterprise Information Services (EIS). The iQMS contractor has independent staff embedded in the Modernization Program and provides independent monthly to the Legislature and EIS.

Learn more about the State's oversight of major IT projects​.​

​​​Yes. In addition to independent reporting by the iQMS contractor, Employment provides our own monthly status reporting to the Legislature and Enterprise Information Services. We also provide special updates from time to time. The last written update was provided to the Legislature in January of this year. ​

​To create the best solutions, we invite ongoing ideas, feedback, and participation from our employees, partners, and stakeholders. The program's customers include the Oregonians and businesses that we support as well as each of our many stakeholder partners. We know that these partners also support Oregonians and Oregon businesses.

Engagement Boards

Our engagement boards includes customers and service delivery partners, by working together we can first imagine and then deliver improved services to our shared customers and to one another.

The two categories of voting members have distinct duties and responsibilities:

Service Delivery Partners: Service delivery partners represent state agencies or divisions with which the Employment Department operates tightly coupled processes essential to the operation of the UI Program (such as tax filing, tax collection, business registration, benefit payment, technology hosting, or printing and distribution).

Customers: Customers represent 1) non-state entities served by the Unemployment Insurance Program including businesses, workers, and job-seekers, and 2) state agencies that, while not operating tightly coupled business processes with the Unemployment Insurance Program, either serve or are served by the Program. This includes agencies that obtain data from the program.​


Your input and feedback are essential to our modernization efforts. Please take our customer satisfaction survey​ about your experience with the Unemployment Insurance program so we can better serve your needs.

Focus Groups

As planning evolves, we'll be seeking more input. Check back here for opportunities to participate in focus groups as another way to help us understand how best to serve you!

​Based on what we learned during our feasibility study and visits to other states, one of the agency's preferences during the evaluation process was to begin with a proven vendor UI solution that has been successfully implemented within another state. There are a limited number of vendors who fulfil this preference. We had the opportunity to learn from each completed project, and used their experiences and best practices to develop our guiding principles, and requirements.​​
​​The modernized UI solution is dramatically improving the administration of benefits to diverse populations by providing flexibility and enhanced functionality around points of access, expanded and customized language use, gender preference, and ADA compliance. We are providing personalized services and increasing our effectiveness by providing access to data, increasing self-service options, simplifying agency processes, and improving automation. Additionally, we are enriching our customers' experience by integrating self-service options and improved automation with personal customer service.
​​​This was a requirement in the request for proposals. All vendors who responded to the RFP, including the top-scoring vendor, can integrate with and “talk to" our partners' and customers IT systems where there is a business need. This could include the Department of Human Services, Oregon Housing Authority, Department of Revenue, and Department of Consumer and Business Services. Our partnerships with these agencies will continue during detailed planning and throughout the project execution.​
​In August 2020, our Modernization Engagement Board chartered a Data Workgroup that will collaborate throughout the project to ensure strength in data sharing. The workgroup will discuss and plan current data exchanges and potential future data needs related to UI tax, wages, and benefits. The workgroup will validate the external transfers identified in the project deliverables, represent and validate the data needs from their Organizations, and brainstorm potential new data needs. Additionally, the workgroup will create a primary point of contact list that can be used for each partner's data needs and representation throughout the duration of the UI Modernization Project."

The Modernization Data Workgroup includes members from:
  • ​Oregon Employment Department
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department Of Revenue
  • Department of Consumer and Business Services
  • Secretary Of State
  • Department Of Justice and
  • Three private companies​​

​We want to hear from you with questions and suggestions! You can contact us anytime by sending the Modernization Program team an email at​