Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive
Wednesday, September 20, 2000
CORNYN ANNOUNCES $1 BILLION IN CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTIONS
Collections have increased 36% in two years
AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced child support collections exceeding $1 billion in a state fiscal year (SFY) for the first time in the history of the Texas child support program. State fiscal year 2000 ended August 31. The $1,029,441,833 in SFY 2000 collections represents a 36% increase from the $757 million collected in SFY 1998, the last state fiscal year before Attorney General Cornyn assumed office.
The increase of $161 million from SFY 1999 collections of $868 million is the largest year-to-year dollar increase in child support collections and follows the previous year's record increase of $111 million.
"I inherited a Child Support Division suffering from years of neglect. We have made considerable progress by collecting more than $1 billion for Texas children and improving our phone call answer rate from 14% to 94%, but we still have a long way to go," said Attorney General Cornyn.
When Attorney General Cornyn assumed office in January 1999, the Child Support Division operated a single statewide customer service call center. In addition to calls made directly to the call center, calls to local child support offices were automatically routed to the call center, creating a tremendous backlog. The call center received about 1.3 million calls in a month. Approximately 500,000 received information from the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system while 800,000 wanted to speak with a customer service representative. Only 14% of the 800,000 calls were answered by a customer service representative.
To improve accessibility and local resolution of inquiries, Attorney General Cornyn decentralized the call center and requested more staff . The Legislature approved funds for 114 staff to be placed in four regional call centers located in Dallas/Fort Worth (972/339-3100), Houston (713/243-7100), Austin (512/514-7000) and San Antonio (210/841-8450). The Attorney General also required field offices to answer calls. The call centers and field offices now answer 94% of the 600,000 monthly calls from parents wanting to speak with a customer service representative.
The Attorney General has also established a Child Support Interactive web page on the agency website (www.oag.state.tx.us) to allow customers access to payment and case status information on a secure section of the site. Applications for services can be made through the Internet as well. Approximately 70,000 customers use the interactive site each month.
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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, Tom Kelly or Matt Winslow at (512) 463-2050
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