DATE: October 01, 2010
TO: ALL TRIBAL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Plan Amendments
The final rule at 45 CFR Part 309 implementing direct funding for tribal child support enforcement programs was published on March 24, 2004. Since that time, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has funded 38 comprehensive tribal child support enforcement programs and nine start-up programs.
OCSE understands that as a comprehensive program matures, it will likely amend its initial child support plan to indicate changes it makes. This letter discusses specific occurrences that may trigger the need for a program to submit a plan amendment for OCSE approval.
One occurrence is outlined in section 309.35(d) of the final rule. The section requires a program to submit a plan amendment when changes are made by federal statutes, rules, regulations and Department interpretations. When changes in the child support program statutes and regulations necessitate change in tribal plans, OCSE will issue instructions on how tribes should proceed. OCSE previously issued one such program instruction to tribal child support agencies that operated under the interim rule at 45 CFR 310. (See AT-04-03, Program Instructions - Required changes to tribal IV-D Plans.)
Another occurrence is outlined in section 309.35(e) of the final rule. The section requires a program to submit a plan amendment if it makes a substantial or material change in any aspect of the child support program. The following programmatic events constitute a substantial or material change:
- When tribal code changes or tribal policy changes affect any of the 14 program elements described in the final rule (e.g., when child support guidelines are revised);
- When a program adds another program to its consortium or when programs decide to form a consortium;
- When a program delegates any of its functions to another tribe, a state, or another agency pursuant to a cooperative agreement; and
- When there are changes to previously approved job descriptions or changes to the program’s organizational structure.
This is not an exhaustive list. There may be other events that require a program to submit a plan amendment. Please contact your regional representatives if you have any questions.
Office of Child Support Enforcement
cc: Tribal Leaders
ACF OCSE Regional Program Managers