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Copyrights, Ownership, Procurement Requirements, and Model Tribal System Recommendations

PIQT-13-01

Published: January 1, 2013
Information About:
Tribal Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Tribal Systems
Types:
Policy, Policy Interpretation Questions (PIQ), Tribal Policy
Tags:
Procurement/Acquisition, Safeguarding

PIQT-13-01

DATE:  January 1, 2013

TO:  Tribal IV-D and Start-up Program Directors

FROM:  Vicki Turetsky, Commissioner, Office of Child Support Enforcement

SUBJECT:  Copyrights, Ownership, Procurement Requirements, and Model Tribal System Recommendations

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has noticed some reoccurring issues with the applications submitted for tribal IV-D program funding that warrant the need for guidance.  These issues involve the federal requirements for copyrights, ownership, procurement, and confidentiality, as well as the Model Tribal System (MTS) specifications for office automation.

Question 1:  What are the federal requirements for copyrights and procurement that apply to tribal programs?

Response 1:  The Federal Register, Final Rule, 68 Fed. Reg. 52843, dated September 8, 2003, provided notice that the uniform administrative requirements for states, local governments, and Indian tribal governments were removed from Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 74 and are now contained in Title 45 CFR Part 92.  As a result, tribes awarded IV-D funding are required to comply with the uniform administrative requirements described in 45 CFR 92.

Part 92 includes requirements for copyrights in section 92.34 and for procurement in section 92.36.  In developing copyright and procurement policies for using IV-D funding, tribes must follow the applicable requirements described in these sections.  In addition, procurement contracts must include the necessary provisions listed in 45 CFR 92.36(i) in order to meet federal standards.  Among these provisions is a requirement to include a contract clause for copyrights and data rights.  Furthermore, tribes must submit their contracts to OCSE for review and approval as part of their tribal IV-D plans in accordance with 45 CFR 309.60(c) (see TDCL-08-02).

Question 2:  What are the federal requirements for confidentiality (i.e., safeguarding confidential information) that apply to tribal programs?

Response 2:  The federal requirements for safeguarding confidential information related to tribal IV-D programs are contained in 45 CFR 309.80 and 310.15.  If tribes receive tax information, they must comply with all safeguarding requirements for federal tax refund offset in accordance with IRS Publication 1075, and Internal Revenue Code 26 U.S.C. 6103, which prohibits the release of IRS information (see PIQT-10-01, TDCL-10-02, and AT-10-12).  If tribes receive Federal Parent Locator Service data through intergovernmental agreements with states, they must comply with the safeguarding requirements noted in Footnote 2 to Appendix A of the Final Rule on Safeguarding Child Support Information, 75 Fed. Reg. 81894, dated December 29, 2010 (see PIQT-07-02, PIQT-10-01, and 45 CFR 302.35).  Therefore, tribal IV-D policies, procedures, and contracts must include provisions that safeguard privacy rights and prohibit and sanction the unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential information, as required by federal regulations.

Question 3:  Why is it necessary to have copyrights, ownership, and confidentiality clauses in contracts used in tribal programs?

Response 3:  In addition to meeting the federal requirements, copyrights, ownership, and confidentiality provisions help to protect tribes from the loss and unauthorized use and disclosure of information or products used or developed under a tribal IV-D contract.  For example, these provisions will ensure that tribes obtain access to working papers, own products or data developed for the tribe, and protect confidential information.  Therefore, we recommend that tribes develop boilerplate language to include these provisions in their contracts and procurement policies and procedures.

Question 4:  What are the IT system configuration recommendations for tribes who are implementing the MTS, not implementing the MTS, and who are working toward meeting the requirements outlined in 45 CFR 310?

Response 4:  The Division of State and Tribal Systems within OCSE has issued IT recommendations to meet the needs and circumstances of tribes. 

When preparing the application for IV-D funding, tribes should consult the appropriate IT recommendations to ensure that their proposed IT equipment minimally meets OCSE standards.