SC

SC Child Support Database: Epic Fail

We don’t like using the term “epic fail” around here because it’s frankly a bit overplayed – minimizing the “epic” nature of whatever “fail” it is we’re referring to. In the case of South Carolina’s child support enforcement database, however, “epic fail” is truly the only way to describe the…

We don’t like using the term “epic fail” around here because it’s frankly a bit overplayed – minimizing the “epic” nature of whatever “fail” it is we’re referring to.

In the case of South Carolina’s child support enforcement database, however, “epic fail” is truly the only way to describe the situation. To recap: In 1988 the federal government mandated the creation of a centralized computer system to monitor child support payments – giving states ten years to set up their networks. Not only did the Palmetto State fail to get its system up and running on time, by 2006 it was the only state in the nation still lacking such a database – an ongoing failure which has resulted in the accumulation of tens of millions of dollars in fines.

In fact for those of you keeping score at home, South Carolina has been fined $104 million by the federal government over the last decade-and-a-half for failing to create this database – fines which rise annually (the most recent annual bill was $11 million).

Don’t get us wrong … the child support enforcement database is an unfunded mandate of the worst sort. South Carolina’s judicial branch ought to be in charge of establishing its own system for handling child support payments – free from federal interference. But this isn’t a case of South Carolina standing on principle against overreaching edicts from Washington, D.C.

Our state has been trying to build this system for nearly two decades – spending more than $66 million (on top of all the fines). What has this massive investment managed to produce?

Nothing …

That’s right … all told, $170 million has been blown in relation to this boondoggle and there is still no system in place.

That tab is likely to climb even higher in the coming months …

According to our sources at the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – the government agency responsible for administering this system – the state has suffered yet another major setback on this project.

“Millions spent on new (SCDSS) child support enforcement software just crumbled,” our source tells us. “(Hewlett-Packard) walked away from the project.”

Wow …

Representatives from Hewlett-Packard did not immediately respond to our request for comment, and SCDSS has a longstanding practice of stonewalling our media requests – including inquiries sent under the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws.

If the new system has indeed crashed, it would mean South Carolina must start from scratch on its database … all over again.

SCDSS told lawmakers last year the  child support enforcement system would be up and running this summer. It’s looking increasingly like the agency is going to miss another deadline – meaning more fines and more contract costs for Palmetto taxpayers.

This is beyond ridiculous, people … unless of course you’re a fan of flushing $170 million down the toilet with absolutely nothing to show for it.

***

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32 comments

Smirks July 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

Do they not sign a contract guaranteeing support up to a certain time frame? Can’t we just sue the shit out of them to recoup the costs?

Here’s an idea, ask other states around us what they use and just fucking copy it. Is that really hard? Maybe Nikki can ask Gov. Deal what Georgia uses. She seems to be on really good terms with him judging from when they spoke about DHEC.

Reply
Jay Elliott July 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

That would be, at the least, the second such lawsuit. In 1994, the state entered a contract with Unysis Corporation to get the system up and running. Ultimately Unysis and the state ended up in litigation which lasted for years, consuming more time and money. Later, in July 2007, the state announced that it had entered a contract with Saber Corporation, to great fanfare and a price tag of $89.2 million, to create to the state’s automated child support enforcement system. Then, EDS (Ross Perot’s IT corporation), announced in November 2007 it was acquiring Saber, only to have Hewlitt Packard acquire EDS in May, 2008. Now, I can’t imagine those transitions were seamless, and could only contribute to this quagmire. What’s more, given the rapid pace of technological change, any delays in the design and building of such a system threaten to make it obsolescent at its launch.

Reply
Same ol' Same ol' July 22, 2013 at 10:53 am

Hear, hear. Like needs to be done with every one of our state agencies. I’m sure there are success stories abounding, just pick the ones that work, emulate. How fucking hard can it be? Oh, I forgot, to be successful, you can’t have your finger in the pie.

Reply
semi July 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I wonder what all the governor’s talk about when they go on their annual meetings, probably not this! There are certain basic federal mandates that someone has figured out how to handle, kinda’ goes against the grain of state righter’s to share information…sheesh

Reply
Smirks July 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

Do they not sign a contract guaranteeing support up to a certain time frame? Can’t we just sue the shit out of them to recoup the costs?

Here’s an idea, ask other states around us what they use and just fucking copy it. Is that really hard? Maybe Nikki can ask Gov. Deal what Georgia uses. She seems to be on really good terms with him judging from when they spoke about DHEC.

Reply
Jay Elliott July 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

That would be, at the least, the second such lawsuit. In 1994, the state entered a contract with Unysis Corporation to get the system up and running. Ultimately Unysis and the state ended up in litigation which lasted for years, consuming more time and money. Later, in July 2007, the state announced that it had entered a contract with Saber Corporation, to great fanfare and a price tag of $89.2 million, to create to the state’s automated child support enforcement system. Then, EDS (Ross Perot’s IT corporation), announced in November 2007 it was acquiring Saber, only to have Hewlitt Packard acquire EDS in May, 2008. Now, I can’t imagine those transitions were seamless, and could only contribute to this quagmire. What’s more, given the rapid pace of technological change, any delays in the design and building of such a system threaten to make it obsolescent at its launch.

Reply
Same ol' Same ol' July 22, 2013 at 10:53 am

Hear, hear. Like needs to be done with every one of our state agencies. I’m sure there are success stories abounding, just pick the ones that work, emulate. How fucking hard can it be? Oh, I forgot, to be successful, you can’t have your finger in the pie.

Reply
semi July 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I wonder what all the governor’s talk about when they go on their annual meetings, probably not this! There are certain basic federal mandates that someone has figured out how to handle, kinda’ goes against the grain of state righter’s to share information…sheesh

Reply
Leveling_The_Playing_Field July 22, 2013 at 8:56 am

As the story comes together, the person who caused this situation
did not cover their tracks. In this video, the father went in-depth on the
mother’s mistake. Therefore, in this video, you will see a sad timing of an
event; however, the mother did not think the father would bring this one up. (There
are more videos being produced-stay tuned)!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emPEP_0MQUg&feature=share&list=PLfAXA3I_HpmnV3-rPAnt0JYU4Gfh6dTdS

Reply
Guest July 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Typical. Too bad for the kids this bitch doesn’t get wacked.

Reply
Leveling_The_Playing_Field July 22, 2013 at 8:56 am

As the story comes together, the person who caused this situation
did not cover their tracks. In this video, the father went in-depth on the
mother’s mistake. Therefore, in this video, you will see a sad timing of an
event; however, the mother did not think the father would bring this one up. (There
are more videos being produced-stay tuned)!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emPEP_0MQUg&feature=share&list=PLfAXA3I_HpmnV3-rPAnt0JYU4Gfh6dTdS

Reply
Guest July 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Typical. Too bad for the kids this bitch doesn’t get wacked.

Reply
Leveling_The_Playing_Field July 22, 2013 at 8:57 am

In the past video, the father just identified the real cause
of his child support arrears however he discovers there is more to the problem
as you will see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqJ4FZtJ3k&feature=share&list=PLfAXA3I_HpmnV3-rPAnt0JYU4Gfh6dTdS

Reply
Frank Pytel July 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Typical. Too bad for the kids this bitch doesn’t get smacked

Reply
Leveling_The_Playing_Field July 22, 2013 at 8:57 am

In the past video, the father just identified the real cause
of his child support arrears however he discovers there is more to the problem
as you will see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqJ4FZtJ3k&feature=share&list=PLfAXA3I_HpmnV3-rPAnt0JYU4Gfh6dTdS

Reply
Frank Pytel July 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Typical. Too bad for the kids this bitch doesn’t get smacked

Reply
Same ol' Same ol' July 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

Good god, there has to be an app for that. Google it. Results would probably be better. Just damn.

Reply
Same ol' Same ol' July 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

Good god, there has to be an app for that. Google it. Results would probably be better. Just damn.

Reply
Finius Nullis July 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

Lillian McBride has time on her hands – just put her in charge and she’ll get it up and running – she knows how to “fix things”—-

Reply
Finius Nullis July 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

Lillian McBride has time on her hands – just put her in charge and she’ll get it up and running – she knows how to “fix things”—-

Reply
Thomas July 22, 2013 at 10:12 am

Of course the fines are just cuts in the money the Feds were sending to the state anyway. So in Republican speak, there really was no fine. You know, its the flip side of the argument that giving people a tax credit to pay for something is not the same as the government paying for it, even though either way the government is out the money. i.e. not getting money you were entitled to is not the same as paying money.

It all makes sense in the minds of the neoteapartyconservatarians.

Reply
Thomas July 22, 2013 at 10:12 am

Of course the fines are just cuts in the money the Feds were sending to the state anyway. So in Republican speak, there really was no fine. You know, its the flip side of the argument that giving people a tax credit to pay for something is not the same as the government paying for it, even though either way the government is out the money. i.e. not getting money you were entitled to is not the same as paying money.

It all makes sense in the minds of the neoteapartyconservatarians.

Reply
Torch July 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Have they fired the Child Support Director or the IT Director?

Reply
Frank Pytel July 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Should be both.

Reply
Torch July 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Have they fired the Child Support Director or the IT Director?

Reply
Frank Pytel July 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Should be both.

Reply
nitrat July 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm

“South Carolina’s judicial branch ought to be in charge of establishing its own system for handling child support payments”

You do realize that child support is a matter that crosses state lines, do you not?

Reply
nitrat July 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm

“South Carolina’s judicial branch ought to be in charge of establishing its own system for handling child support payments”

You do realize that child support is a matter that crosses state lines, do you not?

Reply
Sam July 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

who the hell do you think ill fix this problem? Nobody!
Name a government officials that has the balls to take these greedy bastards on.

Reply
Sam July 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm

who the hell do you think ill fix this problem? Nobody!
Name a government officials that has the balls to take these greedy bastards on.

Reply
Shotput July 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

Its not exactly an unfunded mandate- if you look into it, South Carolina took the money the Feds were giving out to create the database. What they did with it is anyone’s guess

Reply
Shotput July 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

Its not exactly an unfunded mandate- if you look into it, South Carolina took the money the Feds were giving out to create the database. What they did with it is anyone’s guess

Reply

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