March 31, 1998
TO: STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PLANS APPROVED UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS
SUBJECT: Self-Assessment Report summarizing the activities, processes and recommendations of the Self-Assessment Core Workgroup which includes the Group's consensus on Review Requirements and the Minimal Review Requirements instrument which they developed.
CONTENT: This Action Transmittal contains instructions which provide clarification and guidance to the States in order that they can meet the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) requirement to annually assess the performance of their own IV-D program, and submit a report of their operations to the Office of Child Support Enforcement.
State procedures for conducting their annual self-assessment should be developed or modified, at a minimum, to address the scope of review suggested in this instruction.
BACKGROUND:Section 342. "FEDERAL AND STATE REVIEWS AND AUDITS," of PRWORA amended Section 454 of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act to require the States to provide for a process of annual reviews of and reports to the Secretary, HHS on the State child support program, including such information as may be necessary to measure State compliance with Federal requirements for expedited procedures, using such standards and procedures as are required by the Secretary, under which the State agency will determine whether the program is operated in compliance with Title IV-D requirements.
The Self-Assessment Core Workgroup Report summarizes the recommendations of the Workgroup and includes their determination of an appropriate Report Format. The objectives of the Workgroup were to: determine what criteria the States would be required to address in their annual report; establish a process or methodology to be used to review the criteria; and to suggest a format to be used to report the results of these reviews.
STATUTORY REFERENCE:Section 454(15) of the Social Security Act, as amended by PRWORA of 1996, PL 104-193
ATTACHMENT:Self-Assessment Core Workgroup Report which contains the Workgroups' consensus and recommendations concerning Reporting Instructions and Review Requirements
EFFECTIVE DATE:The effective date for the PRWORA provisions for Federal and State reviews is October 1, 1997. The proposed review period for the first required State self-assessment will be a 12-month period, beginning no later than October 1, 1997, and each 12-month period thereafter. The first Self-assessment report is due by March 31, 1999.
INQUIRIES TO:Keith E. Bassett, Director, Division of Audit, OCSE
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:It is the intent of the Office of Child Support Enforcement to regulate the Self-Assessment review process in the future. In the interim, we believe that the reporting criteria recommended by the Workgroup should be accepted by States as preliminary guidance on this important matter. Before Federal regulations are in effect, States may submit their statutorily required annual report in this format or in any other manner which is sufficient to provide all of the information necessary for the Secretary to measure State compliance with the requirements of title IV-D. Any State report that addresses the Workgroup's criteria will be considered to have included the necessary information. This AT is being issued to assist States in the process of developing their own self-assessment capability, and to provide guidance to help States meet the requirement to report annually to the Secretary as set forth in PRWORA.
Upon request, each exhibit to this AT will be provided in an electronic format. For a copy of an electronic file, contact Mike Hansen at (202) 401-5740.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement
Self-Assessment Core Workgroup Report
Exhibit 1, General Review Steps
Exhibit 2, the Child Support Enforcement Self-Assessment Questionnaire
Exhibit 3, State Self-Assessment Workgroup