Florida Approves New Child Support Computer System

Automated system designed to help 901,000 children statewide.

by / October 15, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida needed a way to improve services for collecting child support payments. About 901,000 children, almost one child in four in Florida, are affected by a state-administered child-support case.

Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Cabinet approved development of an advanced computer system that is expected to help improve collecting child support for thousands of Florida children.

By 2008, the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) expects to rank in the top five child-support programs nationally in percentage of current support collected, due in part to the $32.1-million Child Support Automated Management System (CAMS), said Jim Zingale, DOR executive director. By 2009, DOR will rank as the nation's top child-support program thanks to this new computer system, Zingale predicted.

CAMS' flexible architecture will make it easier and less costly to maintain and will allow DOR to process cases more quickly, improving services to clients, Zingale said. Within three years after implementation, the new system will help DOR collect an additional $196 million in child support. CAMS will help boost collections by $2.9 billion in 10 years, Zingale said.

The federal government is paying two-thirds of the cost of the system. CAMS (using SAP and Oracle software) will generate about $328 million in savings during the first 10 years of operation, through additional child-support collections that offset welfare and Medicaid costs, less costly computer maintenance, and increased federal incentive support payments. The system will have paid for itself in savings after the first full year of operation in 2005-2006, according to DOR projections.

As of September 2003, DOR provided services to about 669,000 child-support cases statewide, involving about 901,000 of Florida's 3.5 million children. (One case may involve more than one child.)

Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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