NEBRASKA - Child-Support System Delayed Until Oct. 1 Due to Computer System : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Published Friday April 28, 2000 Title: Child-Support System Delayed BY LESLIE REED WORLD-HERALD BUREAU Nebraska Health and Human Services Lincoln - An independent review of Nebraska's child-support computer system has confirmed what officials feared - the computer won't be ready by an Oct. 1 federal deadline.

And it will take nearly an extra year to get the program of centralized child-support payments operational, according to the report from IBM.

The report said the computer system could be ready by Sept. 1, 2001, if additional workers are assigned to the project.

The Nebraska Health and Human Services System released the IBM report Thursday, along with some details of a plan to get the centralized child-support system under way by 2001.

The plan includes hiring at least 24 people to work full time on the project.

"The IBM report provides both good and not-so-good news," said Chris Peterson, policy secretary for Health and Human Services.

"It validates our own internal review of our progress. It also verifies that we're behind the schedule required by the federal government."

Nebraska has been penalized more than $2.3 million for missing past deadlines on the project, which will establish a statewide system for child-support payments.

Federal officials recently granted Nebraska, which faces $3.6 million in additional penalties for missing the 2000 deadline, a one-year extension to get the system operational.

Last year, the Legislature appropriated $13.3 million to develop the distribution component of the computer system.

Under the current system, district court clerks in each county collect and distribute child-support payments. Federal welfare reform, passed in 1996, required states to create centralized child-support systems.

One problem has been integrating the distribution system in Douglas County - the state's largest - with the state program.

Health and Human Services recommended hiring an additional 15 technical workers, eight business workers and a technical architect.,3153,332584,00.html


-- (, April 28, 2000

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