In government and business, there are times when new ideas make sense, but they don’t always make “cents” by saving money or increasing efficiency. And there are times when an idea may save money or increase efficiency, but it makes no sense in the workflow. When a plan comes together that does both, you have a win-win situation! Conduent and the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are pleased that the two came together in a new payment system that meets both criteria.
Since 1999, Conduent has provided federally-mandated child support payment processing services for DCFS. Daily reports from Conduent and from the Child Support Enforcement program are submitted to the Fiscal Services section, which manages payments that come into the Department for other reasons. As payment methods and electronic methods used in banking underwent major changes over the years, managers in Fiscal Services noted the value that could come from having payments received, processed, and scanned electronically for their records.
At the same time, another section of the DCFS, the Fraud and Recovery Unit, dealt regularly with a different type of incoming checks: recovery payments submitted to correct overpayments in benefits owed to the State. When DCFS administrators took a look, they found that both areas could benefit from better ways to manage payment processing.
In 2021, Conduent and DCFS completed implementation of the Centralized Collections Payment Unit (CCPU) to serve as payment processing center for the Department. Service offerings include both paper and electronic payment processing, mail receipt services, image capture and retention, unidentified payment research and exceptions processing, balancing and reconciliation functions, direct deposit enrollment, employer outreach and support, security, and disaster recovery.
Services for the Fraud and Recovery Unit and DCFS Fiscal Services differ from the basic child support offering in accordance with the needs of each of these areas and as prescribed by their requests.
An important goal for Conduent is to assist state and local agencies in providing valuable services to the citizens they serve. The addition of these payment services for the Department of Children and Family Services enables us to fulfill this goal in a new way by using an established payment center to support other sections of the agency.
“For years, Conduent has helped us to expedite child support payments to custodial parents. By integrating their multiple payment processes into our department’s Centralized Collection Payment Unit, we have streamlined our operations and improved efficiency. As a result, we are able to provide better service to all of the children and families we serve in ways that make a real difference in their lives. That’s how we measure progress,” said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters.
It is good when a good plan comes together that makes both sense and “cents!” Conduent is proud to serve the Department of Children and Family Services in Louisiana. Click here to read the in-depth case study on the CCPU expansion.