2018 NASCIO State IT Recognition Award Winner
Category: Digital Government: Government to Business (G to B)
Project Name: Unemployment Insurance Tax Modernization
Overview: The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) collects the largest volume of business tax in the State of Illinois: Unemployment Insurance (UI) Tax. Annually IDES has over 2.4 million “touches” with their taxpaying customers—employers and third‐party payroll service providers—related to UI wage reporting and payment processing. Yet, the applications IDES used to administer UI Tax were, in some cases, over 25 years old, costly to maintain, not easy to adapt to changing statutes and regulations, and were a challenge for customers to navigate. Internally, agency staff had to interact with multiple applications to administer the UI Tax program and support their customers’ needs. Externally, customers had limited electronic self‐service options. IDES had entire business processes built around paper and outdated technology. Change was needed on all levels to improve customer service and the overall customer experience. IDES needed to move to a 21st century platform.
When exploring solutions, IDES realized the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) already had an application, GenTax, and the customer facing e‐Services portal, MyTax Illinois, that could achieve IDES's goals while maintaining their separate legislative and fiduciary responsibilities. Illinois was also embarking on a statewide digital transformation, which included centralizing IT services and personnel into one agency—Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT)—and encouraging multi‐agency initiatives, an enterprise approach to technology, and improving efficiencies across state government. This transformation made it possible for IDES, IDOR, and DoIT to launch a unique collaboration to modernize the UI Tax program into a proven, state‐of‐the‐art application. This modernization project significantly reduced IDES' costs, risks and timeline to realize results when compared to other options, such as a standalone implementation or custom development project.
The 14‐month UI Tax modernization project completed on schedule and on budget in September 2017. GenTax and MyTax Illinois significantly improved IDES' ability to process incoming reports and payments and improve their level of customer support. Over 50 percent of previous paper filers are now filing electronically. IDES achieved an estimated savings of over $800,000 annually through the elimination of paper‐based processes and reduced IT support costs. Customers have one‐stop access to register for and administer all their State of Illinois taxes and numerous new self-service features in MyTax Illinois.
Due to this transformative project, the State of Illinois is positioned to enjoy multiple benefits of the IDES and IDOR partnership, a few of which include:
- Consolidated and shared services, including mail and print operations and IT maintenance, which allows both agencies to have reduced operational overhead.
• Created a foundation for future modernization and growth opportunities. Services and features created for tax administration by one agency can be easily adapted for the needs of the other agency. For example, IDOR launched a Statewide Tax Lien Registry using GenTax and MyTax Illinois which will save the department $700,000 annually in fees and labor. Pending legislative approval, IDES will join the lien registry for similar benefits.
- Increased collections, customer compliance, and fraud prevention efforts. IDES collected over $1 million in new revenues in less than six months with the implementation of the Treasury Offset Program (TOP). IDOR has years of experience in advanced fraud detection and analytics that will assist IDES in their program development.
2018 NASCIO State IT Recognition Award Finalists
Project Name: Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology, Security Operations Center (SOC)
Category: Emerging and Innovative Technologies
Project Name: Illinois Blockchain Initiative
2010 NASCIO Award Recipient
Category: Improving State Operations
Project Name: State of Illinois Data Center Server Consolidation and Virtualization Project