FPLS Release 03-01 Minor
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: July 31, 2003
TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) Release 03-01 Minor
In August 2003, the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) will implement FPLS Release 03-01. This release introduces enhancements to the Federal Case Registry (FCR), the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), the Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENet) and the Federal Offset system. These changes were developed in response to state feedback provided to OCSE during conference calls and Automation Summits, and through ongoing interaction with the Department of Defense (DoD). The improvements support continuing efforts to promote automated use of FPLS data and to improve data quality. As with previous FPLS Manifest Releases, the August 2003 changes are deemed minor, since implementation of the enhancements can be delayed until state planning and resources can accommodate the changes.
There are three changes being made to the FCR, which:
- Allow state staff the option of having ‘CS’ locate requests return NDNH data submitted by their own state in addition to NDNH data submitted by other states and federal agencies. State representatives must complete a form (posted with the Release Specifications on the FPLS Web site) to designate their selection of which NDNH record types they wish to have returned. Options that may be designated include new hire (W4) only, quarterly wage (QW) only, unemployment insurance (UI) only, or any combination of these three record types, including all three. Some state representatives had indicated that the NDNH could return records faster and more easily than the state could receive data from their own state source. Staff in states that do not wish to receive NDNH data submitted by their own state sources need not take any action.
- Provide states with quarterly wage information for retired military personnel. In line with DoD’s continuing effort to provide employment and locate information to child support agencies through the NDNH, DoD indicated that pension amounts received by retired military personnel could be submitted to the NDNH because these payments represented “reduced pay for reduced service.” An additional DoD code of ‘P’ for Pension/Retired Personnel will be provided on NDNH QW records to designate military personnel retired from DoD or the Coast Guard to distinguish these records from those for active duty, civilian, or reserve personnel. This ‘P’ value will be returned on NDNH locate responses and on proactive matches in the DoD Agency Status Indicator field, position 740, of the redefined QW portion of the ‘FN’ Record. A major benefit of this improvement is that it provides states access to additional financial information from DoD more quickly and more efficiently since the data will now be stored directly on the NDNH. Previously, states could only obtain financial data concerning retired military personnel through external locate requests, which are processed on a monthly basis by DoD. State staff must continue to use an external locate request to DoD as a means to obtain financial information concerning retired civilians. Civilians retired from DoD are not classified as receiving “reduced pay for reduced services,” therefore pensions cannot be reported quarterly to the NDNH.
- Delete the State-Submitted SSN field in positions 49-57 of the FCR Person Reconciliation (‘RS’) record. Because the SSN shown in this field can change over time as states make changes to the FCR, its value at any given point in time may not be reliably defined. By removing this field from the FCR Reconciliation process, potential confusion over its meaning can be eliminated.
The enhancement to the NDNH consists of:
- Creating default values for specific NDNH data submitted by state or federal agency sources that are invalid. Data that are not in the correct format will be converted to spaces or zeroes if the field value is not logical or correct given the data type (e.g., non-numeric value in a field defined as numeric). These default values will be returned in locate responses and proactive matches. This change helps prevent a user’s system from being adversely affected due to data received in an incorrect format or with illogical values.
The enhancement to CSENet consists of:
- Adding four new transactions to the CSENet 2000 Application to reflect case closure criteria. Existing transactions will remain in place, and state staff will need to program for the additional transactions. This improvement will allow state staff to use the CSENet 2000 Application to electronically transfer standard case closing transactions using current case closure criteria.
Three enhancements related to the Federal Offset system will:
- Return a new warning code to states through the Rejected Case Submission and Update Record layout to indicate a case was submitted without a complete address. This is in preparation for a future change at FMS, when FMS will no longer process offsets when addresses are not available. Making more addresses available will decrease submission time and increase the potential for a collection.
- Provide state staff with an online option to submit updates to the Passport Denial Exclusion Indicator. Online submissions will be processed daily for adding or removing the exclusion indicator for an obligor. Cases where the exclusion indicator has been removed will be forwarded to the Department of State when eligibility requirements have been met. This change will improve customer service by reducing the time it takes to update Passport Denials, and will reduce paperwork at the state and federal levels.
- Provide a Delete Detail History record for a case that is deleted due to the inability to locate an address for an obligor, or for a case that was deleted by a state and was never forwarded to FMS. This change will improve the audit capability to trace a case through its lifecycle.
A copy of the Release Manifest for the August 2003 release with the detailed specifications regarding these modifications to the FCR, NDNH, CSENet and Federal Offset systems is available.
States may contact their State Technical Support (State TS) liaisons with any questions regarding the August 2003 enhancements, or to discuss programming enhancements that would enable state systems to effectively process the data and maximize data usage.
Sherri Z. Heller, Ed.D.
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: Regional Program Managers
ACF Regional Administrators