- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Audit: Maryland agency lax in collecting child support
Office overlooks ways to get funds
Question of the Day
The Maryland agency responsible for collecting child support let millions go uncollected by overlooking such collection methods as garnishing wages and seizing bank accounts, according to a state audit released Monday.
In a review from 2007 to 2010, the state Office of Legislative Audits found Maryland's Child Support Enforcement Administration in many cases also did not suspend the occupational licenses of parents who were more than 120 days late on payments. In addition, local child-support offices under the agency’s supervision failed to make sure that businesses reported new employees to a statewide registry and did not follow up on federal reports that identified residents as eligible for wage withholding.
Auditors found that in fiscal 2010, the state collected just $530 million — two-thirds of which came from wage withholding — on $1.72 billion in total support owed to the state. And state enforcers did not withhold wages from nearly 9,000 parents who owed a total of $88 million in child support, though many were eligible for withholding.
“It is a tough concept because there are a lot of dollars there,” said legislative auditor Bruce A. Myers.
He declined to estimate how much the oversights cost the state but said total collections were similar to those found in previous reports.
“We’re not saying they did a good or bad job,” Mr. Myers said. “We’re just identifying areas where we think they can enhance their collection efforts.”
The audit also found agency officials checked with only seven of the state’s 15 licensing authorities to see whether license holders were eligible for suspensions and suspended the licenses of just a handful of nearly 7,000 child-support-owing license holders.
Agency officials also took an unnecessarily light approach to seizing bank funds from delinquent parents, auditors said. State law allows the agency to seize bank funds from parents who own more than $500 and have not paid support for more than 60 days. But it chose to seize funds only from those who own more than $2,500.
In addition, auditors found officials failed to verify incorrect parent Social Security numbers in their records.
The state Department of Human Resources, which oversees the agency, said in a letter to state auditors last month that it has resolved many of the findings in the report by methods that include improving contact with state licensing agencies and developing an automated wage-garnishing process to increase collections by $1.4 million this year.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Hill joined The Washington Times in February 2011 as a Maryland political reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Md. drivers could face eventual doubling of gas tax
- Federal appeals court restores Maryland's concealed carry law
- Md. bill would end student suspensions for mimicking gun behavior
- Maryland Senate passes bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana
- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell assailed on transportation
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Calling prison term disparities unfair, Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow