Child support expenditures

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study today on federal expenditures for the child support enforcement (CSE) program. CSE is a federal-state partnership, and states are generally reimbursed 66 percent of their administrative costs. On the federal level, CSE is run by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) which establishes program policies and oversees and audits state agencies.

From FY 2000 to FY 2004, total net federal expenditures for administrative costs increased, but child support collections and the program's cost-effectiveness ratio (total collections divided by total administrative expenditures) also increased. For FY 2004, cost-effectiveness ratios ranged from 8.70 for Hawaii to 1.83 for the Virgin Islands. The minimum to receive an incentive payment is 2.0.

The report provides a 50-state map of percentage changes in net federal expenditures, from FY 2000 to FY 2004, on p. 17.

CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT: More Focus on Labor Costs and Administrative Cost Audits Could Help Reduce Federal Expenditures, GAO-06-491, July 6, 2006
     Full report (pdf, 2MB, 62p.)
     Highlights (pdf, 80KB, 1p.)
     Abstract (html)

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