FPLS Technical Infrastructure Transition
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: April 20, 2007
TO: ALL STATE AND TRIBAL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: FPLS Technical Infrastructure Transition
Some time ago, OCSE initiated a Continuous Service Improvement (CSI) project within the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) to examine how the FPLS and its systems could be improved to better serve our customers. This analysis was also designed to guide OCSE forward in the application of technology to better support our services and users.
The improvements to services we envision will satisfy the need to expand FPLS data exchanges to more government to government (G2G) partners (including tribes), as well as new partners in Government to Business (G2B) (including employers, financial institutions and insurers). Because this expanding customer base can no longer be supported solely by our closed networks, we are looking to the Internet as a broad-based solution to our emerging communication needs. As the Internet has evolved, many initial security concerns have been resolved, allowing us to use the Internet as a viable means to collectively exchange data with an ever growing number of diverse partners. Therefore, we, like many of you, have begun implementing web-based and Internet solutions.
We have also looked closely at the ability of our existing technical infrastructure to meet changing requirements. Based on the findings of this analysis, we have decided to consolidate all segments of our processing infrastructure within the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) National Computer Center.
Additionally, we are currently supporting FPLS data exchanges to child support enforcement agencies across two separate networks (OCSENet and SSA’s Network). Since there is no practical or technical reason justifying continued maintenance of these two redundant networks, we have decided to consolidate our State-to-State and State-to-FPLS communication traffic across the SSA network. This will result in efficiencies that will reduce operating costs.
While OCSE is carefully planning infrastructure changes so they have a minimal impact on States, we recognize that these modifications may affect States in different ways. For this reason we anticipate that the transition period for all expected changes could take up to five years. During this time, we will make every effort to accommodate States’ transition needs and fully expect to maintain dual networks while States move their CSENet traffic to the SSA Network.
Our commitment to maintaining both networks during this transition is evidenced by our current effort to refresh the routers and communications equipment supporting CSENet. In addition, CSENet Exchange Agreements between States will not be affected by this transition.
We are committed to supporting States’ efforts to ensure these transitions occur as smoothly as possible and will provide technical support to help each State make this happen. Through continued application of our standard release process and regular communication of proposed timelines and impacts, we will work with every State to plan and schedule all phases of the transition process.
Additional technical details and timelines will be provided in subsequent communications.
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: Regional Program Managers
ACF Regional Administrators