Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2000
TO: ALL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2000
Attached is the relevant text of Pub. L. 106-113, "Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2000" as signed by President Clinton on November 29, 1999. We are awaiting the President’s signature on a second bill, H.R. 3443, "Foster Care Independence Act of 1999" and will send out notification on this legislation as soon as possible.
Among other items, Public Law 106-113 law provides for:
Section 238 150 Feasibility Study on Further Passport Restrictions on Individuals in Arrears on Child Support. This section requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to submit a study on the feasibility of decreasing the arrearage amount for passport denial from $5000 to $2500.
Section 303 150 Information Comparisons and Disclosure for Enforcement of Obligations on Higher Education Act Loans and Grants. This section requires a comparison of Department of Education information with National Directory of New Hires data for the purpose of locating individuals who are in default on their student loans.
Section 805 - Use of State information to Aid Administration of Welfare-to-Work Grant Funds. This section permits State IV-D agencies to disclose specified information on noncustodial parents to private industry councils for the purpose of identifying and contacting NCPs regarding participation in work programs under section 403(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (the Act). The section also includes provisions for the safeguarding of such information.
Section 807 - Alternative Penalty Procedure Relating to State Disbursement Units. This section authorizes an alternative penalty for States that fail to comply with State Disbursement Unit (SDU) requirements under section 454(27)(A) and (B)(i) of the Act. Under this new provision, the alternative penalty is available to a State which: (1) the Secretary determines has made and is continuing to make a good faith effort to comply with the SDU requirements; and (2) has submitted to, and had approved by, the Secretary a "corrective compliance plan" that describes how, by when, and at what cost the State will achieve compliance with the SDU requirements. In the first year, the alternative penalty is 4% of the penalty base (the amount otherwise payable to the State in the preceding fiscal year at the 66% matching rate for administrative costs.) The penalty rises in successive years to 8%, 16%, 25% and 30% of the penalty base. If a State is able to comply with the SDU requirements before April 1, 2000, the Secretary shall waive the alternative penalty. If a State complies with the SDU requirements on or after April 1, 2000, and on or before September 30, 2000, the alternative penalty amount is 1% of the penalty base. The Secretary may not impose in a fiscal year an alternative penalty against a State for failure to comply with SDU requirements if the Secretary is required to impose an alternative systems penalty in that fiscal year with respect to the State’s failure to comply with Family Support Act systems requirements under section 454(24)(A) of the Act.
OCSE will be issuing guidance shortly regarding instructions on the alternative penalty for non-compliance with SDU requirements.
I hope that you will take a look at the attached law and contact your regional office with any questions or concerns. As always, I thank you for your hard work and dedication in improving the lives of the children of America.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement