Financial Restructuring Workgroup Establishes Project Charter

By: Jorlinis Centeno

On June 21, 2018 the California Department of Child Support Services (CA DCSS) held a Financial Restructuring Kick-Off meeting to solicit input and approval for the Financial Restructuring Project’s charter document. The Financial Restructuring Project was created in response to the lack of strong system financial controls and editing capability within the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) system, which makes it inefficient to use and vulnerable to incidents of fraud. The Financial Restructuring Workgroup consists of local child support agency (LCSA) and CA DCSS staff who will implement policy, procedure and system changes to strengthen the CSE system’s financial functionality and controls.

An advisory committee began to review some problems that had come to light in 2015, and the 2017 statewide audit added a list of 41 issues. All were discussed at the kick-off meeting, which brought workgroup members together for the first time. The purpose of the kickoff meeting was to establish a consensus on what the problems are, come up with possible fixes and obtain approvals to determine long-term solutions, many of which will require changes to CSE. The goal of the project is to improve the integrity and security of the financial data and processes in the CSE system in alignment with the strategic plan.

As the Financial Restructuring Workgroup moves forward and their policy, procedure and system changes are developed and approved, we will learn more about the outcomes of this project. Once the next steps are defined and approved, a smaller group will be selected to work together and meet quarterly to achieve the long-term solutions defined in the project charter.