State’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Site Back Up

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Arkansas’ Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website was back up and running on Wednesday.

The site had been taken down late Friday after the Arkansas Times reported apparent vulnerabilities that could expose sensitive information of applicants.

The website is designed to get unemployment compensation for self-employed workers and independent contractors in Arkansas who are out of work because of COVID-19. Applications are being accepted again here.

The Division of Workforce Services said it expected to process payments by the end of the week for approved eligible applicants to the program.

The website was designed and built by Protech Solutions Inc. of Little Rocka software and database company that, according to its website, has done business with states including Arkansas, New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey and Delaware.

Protech’s contract for the website, signed April 14 with the Department of Workforce Services, is worth $3 million, but it allows up to $2 million more for contingencies. The contract lasts until June 30.

Protech has a long-term contract with Arkansas to run the state’s Child Support Information System, which handles child support payments in Arkansas. The current contract, signed in 2016 and running until next year, is worth $42 million.