- Pacific Island Times Staff
Bordallo takes up failed child support fund payments
All three Attorney General candidates in the recent primary agreed that the system for handing out child support funds to the proper recipients is broken and has been for a long time.
Now Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo has requested federal technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Guam’s Child Support Enforcement Division. Bordallo asked that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar provide assistance through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Support Enforcement so that Guam can disburse child support funds promptly and to the correct recipients.
About $6 million in undisbursed child support funds are being held by the Guam Child Support Enforcement Division. Her request would enable federal technical assistance to improve record systems reconciliation and support for location custodial parents through the Federal Care Registry.
“Child support payments help parents provide their children with food, clothing, and shelter, and it is important that these funds are timely delivered. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has tools and resources that can help Guam’s Child Support and Enforcement Division improve its processes. I hope my request for federal technical assistance will aid GovGuam in locating custodial parents and improve its record-keeping systems so that all child support payments are disbursed as intended.”
Here is her full letter:
Dear Secretary Azar,
I write regarding child support payments on Guam that have remained undisbursed for decades and to request technical assistance from your Department for our territorial Child Support Enforcement Division.
According to recent reports, Guam’s Child Support Enforcement Division is unable to disburse nearly $6 million in child support funds, collected years ago, to the proper recipients. Further, over 70 percent of the collected child support funds have been held for more than five years, and over half of the funds were sent to custodial parents but never cashed. Presumably, the uncashed disbursed funds did not reach the rightful recipients, due to inaccurate homes of record.
In order to rectify this issue, I ask respectfully that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Child Support Enforcement provide needed technical assistance to Guam’s Child Support Enforcement Division. Such technical assistance, including help reconciling inadequate recordkeeping systems, will finally ensure that these child support funds plus any accrued interest reach the rightful receipts. In particular, I request that your Department assist Guam’s Child Support Enforcement Division in locating custodial parents through the Federal Case Registry.
Any assistance you are able to provide will directly help Guam’s custodial parents and children owed years of undisbursed child support payments. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
MADELEINE Z. BORDALLO
Member of Congress