The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Justice, Paternity and Child Support Division (PCSD) received high praise from a federal agency for its “Operation Support Our Children” initiative.
The recognition came after a federal audit conducted for the 2015 fiscal year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Children and Family, Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Auditors discovered that for the first time in years, PCSD had reliable child support data, which meant the territory was eligible to receive federal incentive rewards it had been denied in previous years.
OCSE performed the audit to determine how reliable the data and performance of PCSD had been after the agency had repeatedly failed to meet federal standards. In fact, the U.S. Virgin Islands was the first-ever American jurisdiction to be denied federal incentive payments because of how poorly it performed on these audits. The problem had been mostly attributed to PCSD staff members’ inability to provide accurate data to auditors.
Positive outcome the result of hard work by the division
According to Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, there had been a lot of positivity within the division regarding its chances of passing the audit. There had been considerable improvements made in 2015 to its data system, collections and child support distribution, thanks to the Operation Support Our Children initiative. As Walker says: “Failure was no longer an option.”
The division ended up outperforming itself in every area of the audit after four straight years of failures. The U.S. Virgin Islands received marks between 92 percent and 100 percent in every area covered under the annual audit, which means it passed with flying colors and can now receive incentive funds that regularly get distributed to other states.
There were eight total performance measures, and PCSD scored 100 percent on one of them. It also had scores of 99 percent, 98 percent and 96 percent on several others. These measures include number of cases open at the end of the fiscal year, the total amount of support collected and distributed and total amount of current support due.
To be sure, these positive marks are excellent news for the U.S. Virgin Islands and the children and families who rely on PCSD. If you have questions about a family law issue, such as child support, child custody or the modification of existing court orders, meet with an experienced attorney.
BoltNagi is a trusted and respected law firm serving clients throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.