Friday, August 1, 2014

Arkansas OCSE Issues Apology for Harassing Families of Dead Children

In January 2008, Dan McDonald, the director of the Office of Child Support Enforcement, had to apologize to Governor Mike Beebe after his agency sent approximately 1500 notices, bills and letters threatening legal action to deceased individuals or parents of deceased children.

Governor Beebe sent a scathing letter asking for answers to McDonald after his office received a barrage of complaints about the "mistake".

Internal communications about the incident obtained provide some comic relief:  

"A little something we may have forgotten with our billing on closed cases...deceased customers" (10/29/07 email from Gwen Terrell to OCSE administrators).

"We should zero out fees on deceased members" (10/29/07 email from Dan McDonald in reply to Terrell's email).

"Exclude all dead people from State tax (intercepts) because they cannot receive notice of the offset"; "Don't send the annual reminder letter to dead NCP's"; Don't send billing coupons to any dead person" (10/30/07 email from Mary E. Smith administrators).

Dapper Dan McDonald