El Paso County collected more money – $42.2 million — in child support payments in 2009 than any other county in the state, for the third year in a row.
That’s not terribly surprising since El Paso County is the second most populous county in the state to Denver County — 604,542 to 610,345 according to U.S. Census estimates in 2009. And Denver County collected nearly as much at $40.9 million.
What is remarkable is that El Paso County spent only $3.1 million dollars in 2009 for administrative costs for child support collection, $7 million dollars less than Denver County.
How? El Paso County completely outsources its collections to Policy Studies Inc., a Denver-based company, while Denver County runs the program itself.
The small-government proponents who run the county turned the child support payments announcement into a hammer to drive home its point about the efficacy of public-private partnerships.
“This is another example of the unique public private partnerships El Paso County maintains to provide better service at a lower cost,” said Commissioner Sallie Clark, the liaison commissioner to the Department of Human Services. “The services PSI helps El Paso County to provide, by ensuring children in our community are properly cared for, will have benefits for years to come.”
El Paso and Teller counties are the only two in Colorado that completely outsource child support collections.
Despite the relative success, the amount collected by El Paso County in 2009 is slightly lower than 2008.
“The bad economy has made it a tough year to collect payments,” said Laura Davidson from Policy Studies Inc.