System seeks child support payments

Idaho hopes that a new data-matching program will help identify financial assets of parents who are delinquent on child support payments.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) is essentially subcontracting the work to Chicago-based Anexsys, a technology service provider that developed a program called Seek.

Idaho awarded Anexsys a one-year contract worth nearly $320,000 with an option to renew for three years.

Seek sorts data between financial institutions and delinquent claims by matching the Social Security numbers of non-custodial parents, according to Darrell Proksa, an Anexsys project manager.

In Idaho, he said financial institutions have two ways to participate in the program:

    * Anexsys can supply financial institutions with the state's raw data on floppy disk, CD-ROM or tape, and the financial institutions match assets with claims.

    * The financial institutions can transmit financial information to Anexsys, which would then use the program to match claims with assets.

Anexsys then transmits encrypted matched data to the state weekly. The company destroys the sensitive information after seven days.

IDHW spokesman Ross Mason said the matching data program provide the agency with another tool to rectify delinquent child care payments. He said outsourcing the work eliminates extra administrative and technical costs.

Child support cases are "a huge problem in this country," Mason said, adding that Idaho, with a population of 1.3 million, has about 80,000 such cases. "We have a real difficult time with collections."

The state has 110 financial institutions — mainly credit unions and banks — and half have registered with the program so far, Proksa said. Under the contract, the company charges the state a monthly fee, a one-time $135 surcharge for registering each financial institution, and a $60 handling fee for each transmission from the financial institution.

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