Metro

Big trouble with child support system hasn’t meant extra payments to vendor

The series of snafus this year with the state’s child support system, and the associated fixes, has not resulted in extra payments by Massachusetts to the company that built the system.
CJ GUNTHER/EPA/Shutterstock
The series of snafus this year with the state’s child support system, and the associated fixes, has not resulted in extra payments by Massachusetts to the company that built the system.

There was the time when Massachusetts inadvertently sent the personal information of thousands of people who pay child support to companies that do not employ them.

And the time when the state failed to deliver timely child support payments to about 1,500 parents.

And the time when Massachusetts incorrectly underpaid child support to about 70 parents who were on or who had just gotten off welfare.

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But the series of problems this year with the state’s child support system, and the associated fixes, has not resulted in extra payments by Massachusetts to the company that built the system, Baker administration aides said in response to questions from the Globe.

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The state Department of Revenue said, as of this week, there have been no extra payments by the state to Accenture to correct system defects with COMETS HD, its new, nearly $100 million child support system that went online at the beginning of January.

But the state has still been paying the professional services company big bucks as part of the contract the state signed with Accenture for the system back in 2012. Payments to Accenture for the child support system have totaled more than $8.5 million this fiscal year, according to the state comptroller’s website.

Some child support snags were the result of a communications hiccup between the state’s systems for unemployment benefits and child support.

Administration officials said the state asked Accenture to fix a design error related to the link between unemployment benefits and child support. Because the error was in the design of the program — part of a contract first inked in 2012 under then-governor Deval Patrick — instead of in how the program was implemented, the state will probably be on the hook for the cost.

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But officials say no payment has been made for that change order so far.

Governor Charlie Baker, who is running for reelection, has expressed frustration this year with his revenue department, which oversees child support enforcement as well as tax collection.

He said in April he was “incredibly annoyed” and “incredibly frustrated” by the cavalcade of troubles there.

A data breach that made private information from about 39,000 business taxpayers visible to other firms, potentially including rivals, lasted from early August through Jan. 23, the revenue agency has said.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com.