< Back to Search

Charge-backs for Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENet) Usage

AT-94-04

Published: June 2, 1994
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Funding, Cost Recovery
Types:
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT)
Tags:
Electronic Communication

 Action Transmittal   

OCSE-AT-94-04           

Date:    June 2, 1994

TO:            STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
               PLANS UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND
               OTHER INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS

SUBJECT:       Charge-backs for Child Support Enforcement Network
               (CSENet) usage

AUTHORITY:     Public Law 102-394, Department of Labor, Health and
               Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
               Appropriations Act of 1993 at Section 214 specifies
               that, "for any program funded in this Act or
               subsequent Departments of Labor, Health and Human
               Services, and Education and Related Agencies
               Appropriations Acts, the Secretary of Health and Human
               Services is authorized, when providing services or
               conducting activities for which the Secretary is
               entitled to reimbursement by the State, to obtain such
               reimbursement as an offset against Federal payments to
               which the State would otherwise be entitled under such
               program from funds appropriated for the same or any
               subsequent fiscal year.  Such offsets shall be
               credited to the appropriation account which bore the
               expense of providing the service or conducting the
               activity, and shall remain available until expended."

PURPOSE:       The purpose of this Action Transmittal is to provide
               information on the cost recovery procedures of the
               Administration for Children and Families for the Child
               Support Enforcement Network (CSENet).

               The Federal Government has paid for the full costs of
               the first two years of the CSENet contract.  This
               included funding for hardware, software, installation,
               telecommunications, training, and services associated
               with the implementation and use of CSENet.  In
               addition, we have and will continue to provide limited
               funding for on-going technical assistance to assist
               States in achieving an automated interface between the
               CSENet workstation and their statewide automated Child
               Support Enforcement (CSE) system. 

               As stated in OCSE-AT-92-05, dated August 21, 1992, in
               order to make CSENet self-financing, the State users
               will be charged back for the ongoing cost of CSENet
               beginning in May 1994.

BILLING:       There are two aspects of the CSENet charges:  1) a
               fixed price portion which covers the management of the
               network, host services, hotline and maintenance of the
               CSENet workstations; and, 2) telecommunication charges
               for FTS 2000 services which represent the remaining 6%
               of the CSENet charges.
              
               Initially, the CSENet charges will be equally divided
               among the participating States and territories.  For
               your information and understanding of these charges,
               the CSENet contractor will monitor the
               telecommunication charges by State and provide
               statistical and cost information to the States.  As we
               have discussed and gained agreement on by the CSENet
               Steering Committee, the methodology and allocation of
               charges among the States may change as the system
               becomes fully operational.  As the system matures,
               this information will be presented to the CSENet
               Steering Committee for a reexamination of the
               methodology for charging.  Such reexaminations will
               take place periodically and be thoroughly reviewed as
               the States develop automated interfaces between CSENet
               and their statewide automated systems.

               The estimated quarterly CSENet fee per State for the
               4th quarter of FFY 1994 is $2,550 or $850 per month. 
               Any adjustments to the telecommunication costs will be
               made in the following year.
              
PROCEDURES:    The CSENet charges will be paid by the State through
               the following procedures:

          1)   ACF will provide the States with a notice of their
               quarterly CSENet fees thirty (30) days before each
               Federal Fiscal Quarter.

          2)   States may pay these fees through any of the following
               techniques:

          a)   States that have executed an agreement with ACF will
               have their CSENet fees automatically collected through
               offset to their quarterly CSE grant; 

          b)   States that have not yet executed the agreement in
               Attachment A should either include the total of
               Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) and CSENet fees
               on line 11 of the OCSE-131 and provide a breakout
               between FPLS and CSENet as a footnote on the form and
               the amount reported as CSENet fees will be collected
               though an offset to their quarterly CSE grant; or

          c)   States should send a check for the amount of the
               CSENet fee made out to the Administration for Children
               and Families and mailed to the attention of Charleen
               Tompkins, ACF/OFM/DFEBG, Aerospace Building, Room 702,
               370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20447.

          3)   The telecommunications portion of CSENet will be
               estimated based on charges from the previous quarter. 
               Adjustments to the estimated telecommunications
               charges will be made in the following fiscal year.
              
          4)   Please note that the State is eligible to receive
               Federal funding at the regular matching rate for the
               amount of the CSENet charge-back.  The State should
               report the actual charges on line 9 of the OCSE-131
               which reports expenditures for the quarter  during
               which the State paid for CSENet services.

ACTION         It appears that the most efficient means, for
REQUESTED:     both the States and the Federal government, of
               paying CSENet charges would be through automatic
               offset  of each State's grant award.  This would
               enable each State to pay quarterly charges without the
               need to issue a check or enter charges to be offset on
               the OCSE-131.  If a State wishes to employ this
               technique, it should execute the attached agreement
               and return it to Robin Rushton.

               States which elect to pay by check or through the
               quarterly OCSE-131 process should inform Ms. Rushton
               that they will use one of these techniques.

DEBT           If a State is delinquent in paying its CSENet
COLLECTION:    charges via check or the quarterly OCSE-131, ACF will
               employ the Debt collection measures of
               45 CFR Part 30.

RELATED        OCSE-AT-92-05, dated August 21, 1992
REFERENCE:    

EFFECTIVE      CSENet fees will be collected beginning with the
DATE:          Third Quarter FFY 1994 (April-June quarter).

INQUIRIES      Robin Rushton
TO:            Director
               Division of Child Support Information Systems
               370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW
               Washington D.C. 20447
               Telephone: (202) 401-6519
               FAX:       (202) 401-6400



               ________________________
               Director
               Office of Information Systems Management


                        AGREEMENT BETWEEN
        THE ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (ACF)
          DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (DHHS)
                                AND
                 CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
              STATE OF _____________________________



I.   PURPOSE

     To record the agreement and understanding between the
     Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the State of
     _______________________, to permit the fees for the Child
     Support Enforcement Network (CSENet) to be offset against the
     State's quarterly child support grant.

II.  BACKGROUND
    
     CSENet is a nationwide communications network linking State
     child support enforcement systems.  Over the network, States
     will use standard transactions to electronically request or
     report location, paternity and support establishment,
     enforcement and collection information.  The contract to
     implement CSENet was awarded on April 30, 1992 to IBM Federal
     Systems (now LORAL Corporation) with Computer Science
     Corporation and Deloitte Touche as principal subcontractors. ACF
     provided the funding for the initial 24 months, the technical
     assistance task orders and the first option year of the CSENet
     contract.  As specified in OCSE Action Transmittal 92-5, the
     State users will be charged back for the ongoing costs of CSENet
     beginning May 1994. The fees collection for CSENet will be used
     to exercise additional option years of the CSENet contract.

     Public Law 102-394, Department of Labor, Health and Human
     Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
     of 1993 at Section 214 specifies that, "for any program funded
     in this Act or subsequent Departments of Labor, Health and Human
     Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations
     Acts, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized,
     when providing services or conducting activities for which the
     Secretary is entitled to reimbursement by the State, to obtain
     such reimbursement as an offset against Federal payments to
     which the State would otherwise be entitled under such program
     from funds appropriated for the same or any subsequent fiscal
     year.  Such offsets shall be credited to the appropriation
     account which bore the expense of providing the service or
     conducting the activity, and shall remain available until
     expended."

III. UNDERSTANDING

     A.   ACF will provide CSENet services to State Child Support
          Enforcement Agencies for the purposes of transmitting
          interstate child support information. These services will
          include management of the network, host services, hotline,
          maintenance of the State CSENet workstation and
          telecommunication services for CSENet.

     B.   ACF will provide the States with projections for the fixed
          price portion of the CSENet contract, currently
          representing 94% of the total costs and estimates of
          telecommunications costs based on the previous year of
          telecommunication charges.

     C.   The telecommunications portion of CSENet will be estimated
          based on charges from the previous quarter.  Adjustments to
          the estimated telecommunications charges will be made in
          the following fiscal year.

     D.   ACF will provide the States with a notice of their
          quarterly CSENet fees thirty (30) days before the end of
          each Federal Fiscal Quarter.

     E.   ACF is hereby authorized to offset the CSENet fees from the
          State's quarterly child support grant, without requiring
          the State to report the CSENet fees on line 11 of the
          OCSE-131.

     F.   The State is eligible to receive Federal funding at the
          regular matching rate for the amount of the CSENet
          charge-back.  The State should report the actual charges on
          line 9 of the OCSE-131 reporting expenditures for the
          quarter during which the State paid for CSENet services
          through automatic grant offset.

     G.   ACF and the State agree to identify a liaison to each other
          to facilitate carrying out the provisions of this
          agreement.

The parties executing this agreement have the authority to sign this
agreement:



By:________________________          Date:______________________
     Laurence J. Love
     Deputy Assistant Secretary
       for Program Operations
     Administration for Children and Families
     U.S. Department of Health and Human Services



By:________________________          Date:______________________


Title:____________________


State Agency:_______________________


Address: