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State Trying to Keep Tabs on Deadbeats

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California is trying again to meet federal requirements for computer tracking of deadbeat parents. It has signed an $801 million deal with IBM.

The first phase of the system won´t be ready until 2006, by which time the state auditor says California will have paid $1.3 billion in fines to the federal government.

California and South Carolina are the only two states still paying penalties for missing the 1997 federal deadline for having computerized systems for finding parents who owe money and getting the money to the children.

California spent $111 million on another system that didn´t work.