Monday, May 21, 2001

State may extend Bank One deal


Next child support contractor yet to be chosen

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services could get up to a 12-month extension on a contract with Bank One to collect and disburse child support payments.

        The state Controlling Board is scheduled to vote on the $46 million extension at its biweekly meeting today.

        Bank One came under fire in February for charging noncustomers $3 to cash child support checks drawn under the bank's contract. The department said it would put a new contract to coordinate child support operations up for bid in the budget year that begins July 1.

        However, a team assembled to recommend changes at the agency, including the child support office, said the Bank One contract should be extended until a contractor is selected. Department spokesman Jon Allen said Bank One would be among the companies invited to submit bids.

        Bank One will be paid on a per transaction basis until the contractor is in place. The $46 mil lion would cover a 12-month period, Mr. Allen said.

        Greg Moody this month became the agency's second interim director since former Director Jacqueline Romer-Sensky resigned in March amid revelations that the department illegally withheld child support back payments from former welfare recipients.

        Former House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson agreed to replace Ms. Romer-Sensky with the understanding that she would serve until May 1, after which she would focus on a consulting company she formed when term limits forced her out of the House in January.

       



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