Audit faults state in tracking deadbeat parents

AROUND THE REGION

October 17, 2008|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

The state Department of Human Resources has been underusing tools available to collect $1.57 billion in unpaid child support from deadbeat parents in nearly 200,000 cases, according to a legislative audit released yesterday.

For example, the department's Child Support Enforcement Administration did not use its ability to have the occupational licenses of delinquent parents suspended, did not always collect and record their Social Security numbers and did not fully use automated techniques to identify and seize their bank accounts, the audit said.

In a written response dated Oct. 6, the Department of Human Resources agreed with most of the audit's findings and recommendations. The letter said the department was investigating whether it could set up an automated match system between its databases and those of occupational licenses.

The Department of Legislative Services audit spanned March 2004 to August 2007 and noted that certain aspects of child support enforcement, including the agency's fiscal accountability, had greatly improved since its last audit, published in 2005.

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