Contract expands child payment program

Federal Parent Locator Service

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded an $18.9 million contract to SRA International Inc. to expand a program that uses data sharing to track down parents who are delinquent in paying child support payments.

SRA announced the award of the task order Dec. 9 under the Chief Information

Officer Solutions and Partners 2 innovations (CIO-SP2i) vehicle. It calls

for SRA to provide program management, information technology services and

support to HHS' Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Since 1996, SRA has provided services for the Federal Parent Locator

Service (FPLS), which collected $1 billion in delinquent child support payments

in 2001 alone.

Kathy Adams, SRA's director of health systems, said the program uses

information sharing among federal, state and local agencies to match delinquent

payers with Internal Revenue Service records and other government information.

"If you are due to get a tax refund and you have an outstanding judgment

against you for child support payments, that money is sent to the state

for the child's benefit," Adams said.

Subcontractors include TRW Inc., Millennium Solutions Inc. and Insight

Technology Solutions Inc.

As the federal government looks for ways to share data in creating the

new Homeland Security Department, the system is a good example of how it

could work, according to Renny DiPentima, president of SRA's consulting

and systems integration unit.

"The government has a number of examples where it has been able to successfully

share data across jurisdictions, sometimes interagency... this is a pretty

good example of sharing data from federal to state and most likely local

jurisdictions," he said.

The FPLS includes a National Directory of New Hires, which contains

quarterly wage forms submitted by all states to the Social Security Administration

and a Federal Case Registry, a collection of all the child support cases

within a state.

Names appearing on the wage reports are matched with location requests

sent to HHS by states. The names on the location requests are parents who

have failed to pay child support and whom states are tracking down with

the federal government's help.

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