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Final Rule: Provision of Services in Interstate IV-D Cases

AT-88-02

Published: March 1, 1988
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Case Management, Intergovernmental/Interstate
Types:
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT), Regulations

OCSE-AT-88-2

March 1, 1988

SUBJECT:Child Support Enforcement Program; Provision of Services in Interstate IV-D Cases

TO:STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PLANS APPROVED UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS

ATTACHMENT:Attached are final regulations revising current regulations at 45 CFR 301.1, 302.36, 303.7, 305.20 and 305.32. These regulations clarify the responsibilities of initiating and responding States in referring and processing interstate IV-D cases and revise existing audit criteria to reflect these changes.

REGULATION

REFERENCE:45 CFR Parts 301, 302, 303 and 305

EFFECTIVE

DATE:February 22, 1988, except for the requirements of sections 302.36(b), 303.7(a) and 305.32(f) which are effective August 22, 1988.

RELATED

MATERIAL:OCSE-AT-86-20 dated December 15, 1986

INQUIRIES TO:OCSE regional Representatives

_________________________

Wayne A. Stanton

Director

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Office of Child Support Enforcement

45 CFR Parts 301, 302, 303 and 305

Child Support Enforcement Program; Provision of Services in Interstate IV-D Cases

AGENCY: Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), HHS.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: This regulation revises current regulations at 45 CFR 301.1, 302.36, 303.7, 305.20 and 305.32 by clarifying the responsibilities of initiating and responding States in referring and processing interstate IV-D cases and by revising existing audit criteria to reflect these changes. By requiring the establishment of a central registry for receipt of interstate IV-D cases, the regulation ensures the consistent and expeditious treatment of these cases. The regulation also clarifies responsibility for payment of blood testing in establishing paternity as well as other costs in processing interstate IV-D cases an sets timeframes for acknowledging receipt of and requesting or providing additional information on interstate IV-D cases.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective February 22, 1988, except for the requirements of õ302.36(b), 303.7(a) and 305.32(f) concerning central registries which are effective August 22, 1988.

FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joyce Linder, (202) 245-1773.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Child Support Enforcement program was created in response to the alarming rise in welfare costs resulting from increasing non-marital birth rates and parental desertion of families, and to the growing demand on the Congress to relieve taxpayers of the financial burden of supporting these families. Since enactment of title IV-D of the Social Security Act in January 1975, States have been required to cooperate with one another in locating absent parents, establishing paternity and obtaining and enforcing support owed by absent parents to their children. From the beginning of the IV-D program, states have tended to give less than equal attention and treatment to working interstate IV-D cases. In order to carry out their responsibilities under the IV-D program with respect to interstate cases, States must focus greater attention on these cases.

Current regulations governing interstate cases provide insufficient guidance for processing referrals, lack specificity in requiring states to cooperate in interstate child support enforcement and do not require monitoring and following-up on incoming interstate cases.

We believe that the interstate process can be improved and have made this one of OCSE's priorities. This regulation clarifies State responsibilities and emphasizes the need for States to be more responsive and dedicated to working interstate IV-D cases to ensure that all children receive the support they deserve.

Statutory Authority

This regulation is published under the authority of section 1102 of the Social Security Act (the Act) which requires the Secretary to publish regulations that may be necessary for the efficient administration of the functions for which he is responsible under the Act.

Section 454(9) of the Act requires each State, in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary, to cooperate with any other State in establishing paternity, if necessary; in locating an absent parent in the State; in securing compliance by an absent parent residing in the State with an order issued by a court competent jurisdiction against the parent for the support and maintenance of the child or children or the parent of the child or children with respect to whom aid is being provided under the plan of such other State; and, in carrying out other IV-D functions. Therefore, ample statutory authority exists to prescribe standards which States must meet to fulfill their responsibilities under the State plan to work interstate IV-D cases.

Regulatory Provisions

This regulation revises current regulations at 45 CFR 301.1, 302.36, 303.7, 305.20 and 305.32. It requires under the title IV-D State plan that States extend to interstate IV-D cases the full range of services available in the State for locating absent parents; establishing paternity; establishing a child support obligation; and securing compliance by an absent parent with a support order. In addition, this regulation requires the establishment of a central registry in each State for receiving and monitoring all incoming interstate IV-D cases and revises existing audit criteria to address changes in õõ302.36 and 303.7.

Section 301.1 General definition

The term "central registry" is defined in õ301.1 as a single unit or office within the State IV-D agency which receives, disseminates, and has oversight responsibility for incoming interstate IV-D cases, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding. At State option, the central registry may also perform these functions for interstate IV-D cases.

Section 302.36 State plan requirement

This regulation strengthens 45 CFR 302.36 in several ways. First, the section title, Cooperation with other States, is changed to Provision of services in interstate IV-D cases.

Second, we include a requirement that States establish a child support obligation, if necessary, in interstate cases. Former õ302.36 did not address establishment of child support orders and, to clarify that States are required to provide all necessary IV-D services in interstate cases, we believe it is necessary to refer to establishment of child support orders in õ302.36(a).

Third, õ302.36(b) requires each State to establish a central registry in accordance with the requirements in õ303.7(a).

Section 303.7 Provision of services in interstate IV-D cases

The regulation substantially revises 45 CFR 303.7 to delineate clearly the responsibilities of responding and initiating States, as well as to require each State to establish a central registry for receipt of interstate IV-D cases. In addition, the section title, Cooperation with other States, is changed to Provision of services in interstate IV-D cases, for the reasons explained previously.

Section 303.7 Interstate central registry

Section 303.7(a) requires States to establish, and sets forth requirements governing, interstate central registries.

1. Establishment. In paragraph (a)(1), each State agency must establish a central registry responsible for receiving, disseminating and responding to inquiries on all incoming interstate IV-D cases, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding in IV-D cases.

Since many problems cited in interstate cases also exist in intrastate cases, under õ303.7(a) at State option, central registries may be used for intrastate, as well as interstate IV-D cases. Central registries must be established and operational according to the requirements of this regulation no later than six months after publication of this final rule.

2. Responsibilities. Under paragraph (a)(2), within 10 days of receiving an interstate IV-D case from an initiating State, the central registry must (1) ensure that the documentation submitted with the case is reviewed to determine completeness; (2) forward the case to either the State Parent Locator Service (PLS) for locate services or the appropriate agency for processing; (3) acknowledge receipt of the case; (4) ensure that any missing documentation is requested from the initiating State; and (5) inform the IV-D agency in the initiating state where the case was sent for action.

Requiring that the central registry ensure that the information provided is reviewed to determine adequacy, as well as providing in paragraph (a)(3) that the central registryforward the case for any action which can be taken pending receipt of additions of corrections to the documentation from the initiating State, will reduce the delay caused by interstate IV-D cases being returned to the initiating State without action. We encourage States to accept documentation even if it is not in the usual form required by State or local rules, as long as substantive requirements are met. In this way, the central registry will commence action on a case by forwarding the case for necessary action, if possible, ensuring any missing documentation has been requested from the initiating State, acknowledging receipt of the case, and informing the initiating State of where the case was sent for action--all within the 10-day limit.

Finally, the central registry must, in paragraph (a)(4), respond to inquiries on any case within 5 working days of the request.

Section 303.7(b) Initiating State IV-D agency responsibilities

Section 303.7(b) sets forth specific responsibilities of the initiating State.

1. Use of long-arm statutes to establish paternity. Under paragraph (b)(1), States with long-arm statutes allowing establishment of paternity must use those statutes to establish paternity in appropriate cases. Establishment of paternity is the very core of a child's rights to support and increased State and Federal efforts to improve the process are essential.

Because the State where the custodial parent and child reside is frequently the most appropriate forum to hear evidence concerning the paternity claim and to enter an order affecting the rights of the child and the rights and responsibilities of the parents, use of a long-arm statute to establish paternity is an effective and advantageous remedy.

2. Referral to another State. Paragraph (b)(2) requires prompt referral of any interstate IV-D case, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding, to the responding State's interstate central registry for action unless the State uses a long-arm statute as provided for in proposed paragraph (b)(1). This ensures that all interstate IV-D cases are referred by initiating State or local IV-D agencies to one central registry in each responding State. The initiating State or local IV-D agency must send URESA petitions in IV-D cases as well as interstate requests for wage withholding and all other types of actions in IV-D cases to the responding State's central registry.

3. Use of forms. Because of the overwhelming need for standardization of information transfer, paragraph (b)(3) requires States to use standardized forms, a URESA forms package to accompany URESA petitions or a form for non-URESA requests, or computer-generated replicas of the forms containing the same information and in the same format, to refer an interstate IV-D case for action. For non-URESA actions, the Interstate Child Support Enforcement transmittal form must be used to transmit requests for location, documentation verification, administrative reviews for Federal tax refund offset cases, and wage withholdingor State tax refund offset.

The forms and attachments are intended to replace cover letters and include all necessary information a responding State would need to initiate action on a case. The forms specify documentation which must be attached to the request, indicate where acknowledgement of receipt and requests for further information should be sent and provide a carbon copy acknowledgment which is easily detached and returned to the initiating jurisdiction.

4. Providing additional information. Paragraph (b)(4) requires the IV-D agency in the initiating State to provide the IV-D agency or central registry in the responding State with any requested additional information within 30 days of receipt of the request or notify the responding State when the information will be provided by submitting an updated form, or a computer-generated replica of the form, and any necessary documentation. If the nature of the necessary additional information allows, States are encouraged to use telecommunications to update or supply the information. Our purpose is to achieve standardization and speed of information transfer. Successful processing of the case depends on initiating States making every effort to respond quickly.

5. Changes in case status. Section 303.7(b)(5) requires that the IV-D agency in the initiating State notify the IV-D agency in the responding State of any change in case status or information within 10 days of receipt of information about the change in case status by submitting an updated form or a computer-generated replica of the form.

6. Case status update. Section 303.7(b)(6) requires that the IV-D agency in the initiating State contact the IV-D agency in the responding State of a status update on cases not in payment status if 90 days has elapsed since the last contact with the responding State IV-D agency. This requirement will expire on June 1, 1990, or upon publication of final regulations on standards for program operators (currently under development within OCSE), whichever is earlier.

Section 303.7(c) Responding State IV-D agency responsibilities

Section 303.7 establishes clear, specific responsibilities for responding IV-D agencies in interstate IV-D cases.

1. Case management. Section 303.7(c)(1) requires the IV-D agency to establish and use procedures of managing its interstate caseload which ensure provision of necessary services. These procedures must include maintenance of case records in accordance with the existing requirement in õ303.2. Under paragraph (c)(2), the IV-D agency must periodically review program performance in interstate IV-D cases to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedures. Finally, paragraph (c)(3) requires the State to ensure that the organizational structure and staff of the IV-D agency are adequate to provide for the administration or supervision of the following required IV-D functions: intake; establishment of paternity and legal obligation to support; location; financial assessment; establishment of the amount ofchild support; collection; monitoring; enforcement and investigation._s149+periodically review program performance in interstate IV-D cases to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedures. Finally, paragraph (c)(3) requires the State to ensure that the organizational structure and staff of the IV-D agency are adequate to provide for the administration or supervision of the following required Iv-D functions: intake; establishment of paternity and legal obligation to support; location; financial assessment; establishment of the amount of child support; collection; monitoring; enforcement andinvestigation.

2. Actions required within 60 days of receipt. Paragraph (c)(4) requires the IV-D agency in the responding State to complete certain actions with regard to an incoming interstate IV-D case within 60 days of receipt of the forms and documentation on the case from its central registry. The first required action is to provide locate services in accordance with õ303.3, Location of documentation does not include adequate locate information on the

* Fed. Reg. 5248 should be put on this page.

regulation. This requires the interstate IV-D case procedures required by audit criteria in õ305.32 to be used in 75 percent of the cases reviewed for each criterion, effective 6 months form publication of the final rule.

We also are making a technical change to õ305.20(b) because of an error in that section published October 1, 1985 in the Federal Register at 50 FR 40101. Reference to õõ305.37(c) and 305.38(c) was erroneously included under õ305.20(b)(2) as opposed to õ305.20(b)(1). We are amending õ305.20(b) to delete reference to those sections in paragraph (b)(2) and add reference to them in paragraph (b)(1). We are also making a technical change to delete reference to "Expedited processes (45 CFR 305.50(b))" from õ305.20(c)(2) because compliance with expedited process requirements is audited under õ305.20(c)(1).

Response to Comments

We received comments from 55 commenters on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Twenty-seven State IV-D agencies, 14 State and District Attorneys and State Court offices, seven public interest groups, three private citizens two U.S. Senators, one State Supreme Court, and one State Child Support Commission submitted comments.

Sections 301.1 and 303.7(a) Interstate Central Registry

We received over 50 comments on the requirement that States establish a central registry responsible for receiving and controlling all incoming interstate IV-D cases, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding in IV-D cases. The majority of the commenters were concerned with the proposed timeframe for establishing the central registry, duplication of effort and review of case status every 90 days.

1. Comment: We received 13 comments on the proposed requirement that central registries be operational within 90 days of publication of the final regulation. All of the commenters proposed longer implementation periods ranging from 6 months from publication of the final rule to an indefinite period of time after publication to be determined by the State. Some commenters requested additional time in order to set up automated systems and others requested an implementation date two years from publication of the final rule if legislation is needed to establish the central registry.

Response: With respect to the concern that automated systems are essential for a central registry, we would point out that over 33 States are developing or have already developed an automated system to track and monitor child support cases. We urge States not already developing automated systems to take advantage of the enhanced funding available under title IV-D, which has been available since 1981, to design and develop such systems. However, while automated tracking of cases is desirable, we do not believe it is a prerequisite under this regulation because the central registry's responsibilities do not necessitate maintenance of complete case files. We also do notbelieve that States will have to enact legislation before they can establish a central registry. A reorganization within the existing State IV-D agency should be all that is necessary. However, we recognize the need to allow adequate time for States to develop procedures for and organize their central registries and in response to States's concerns have required in this final rule that central registries be operational 6 months from publication. this should allow States that currently do not have central registries adequate time to establish them.

2. Comment: One commenter requested an exemption from establishing a central registry for county-administered IV-D programs.

Response: One of the major problems initiating States face in interstate child support enforcement is determining where in the responding State a case was sent for action and if any action is being taken in that case. This problem is compounded in States with count-administered programs for which there is no single individual or office at the State level with oversight responsibility for interstate case processing. Establishing a central registry in States with count-administered programs will ensure that initiating states have one contact point within the state if they need to locate an interstate case at the county level or need assistance from the central registry to ensure action is being taken in that case.

3. Comment: One commenter requested that start-up costs of establishing the central registry be excluded from administrative costs for the purpose of computing incentives until States have sufficient time to develop a cost effective system.

Response: We believe that the benefits of increased tracking and monitoring of interstate cases to ensure they are worked will outweigh any additional start-up costs of establishing a central registry. Interstate collections for which responding States receive credit in computing incentives should increase concurrently with the establishment of the central registry. Therefore, there should not be any initial adverse impact on the amount of incentives a State receives as a result of establishing a central registry, and indeed, increased interstate collections as a result of improved interstate processing will result in increased incentives.

Furthermore, section 458 of the Act specifies that all administrative costs, with the exception at State option of laboratory costs in establishing paternity, must be included in computing incentive payments.

4. Comment: We received a number of comments expressing the concern that establishing central registries will give priority to interstate cases over intrastate cases, create another layer of bureaucracy and duplication of effort, result in built-in delays and double the paperwork in interstate cases. Other comments suggested the proposed definition of a central registry be revised to clarify that the central registry receives, distributes and coordinates incoming interstate cases rather than controls the cases.

Response: Our purpose in revising these regulations is to clarify States' responsibilities in working interstate IV-D casesto ensure adequate attention is given to working those cases. From the beginning of the IV-D program. States have given less than equal attention and treatment to working interstate IV-D cases. We do not believe that these new requirements place greater emphasis on interstate cases than interstate cases. These requirements are meant to reduce the difficulties States have experienced in processing child support cases across State lines.

The central registry, as required by this regulation, is not intended to be another layer of bureaucracy, duplicate effort in working cases, or delay the processing of those cases. Rater, it is intended to guarantee that cases are quickly routed for the needed service to the appropriate State or local IV-D agency, prosecutor, State Parent Locator Service, etc. for action. The central registry's responsibilities do not include working a case but rather acting as a conduit for cases coming into the State to ensure they quickly reach the individual or agency responsible for their processing. The central registry also is responsible for responding to inquiries about the location and status of interstate cases being worked within the State. therefore, there is no need for two complete case files to be maintained. The central registry needs only to maintain minimal data on the case, and updated the status upon request.

* Fed. Reg. 5240 should be put in here.

requires the IV-D agency to establish and use procedures of managing its interstate caseload which ensure provision of necessary services. These procedures must include maintenance of case records in accordance with the existing requirement in õ303.2. Under paragraph (c)(2), the IV-D agency must periodically review program performance in interstate IV-D cases to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedures. Finally, paragraph (c)(3) requires the State to ensure that the orough change in the circumstances of the parties to be defensible in the court. One commenter also expressed concern that the court might reduce the financial support obligation if the case were to be returned to court.

Response: The IV-D agency is only required to petition the court or administrative authority for medical support if it believes the circumstances would warrant a modification in accordance with State law and procedures. The court or other authority must decide whether the need for medical support is sufficient to revise the child support order. However, if the IV-D agency adequately prepares its requests for modification, explaining the child(ren)'s needs and that the absent parent has available health insurance coverage at a reasonable cost, the court or administrative authority could well grant the requested modification. The possibility of a decrease in the financial support obligation at the same time is a factor the State should consider in determining which cases warrant petitions for modification. The child(ren)'s medical needs may, in some cases, be so important that the health insurance coverage is essential and warrants any risk of reduction in financial support. We believe that in most cases where there has been a substantial change in circumstances, the hearing for consideration of medical support could also result in an increase in the amount of financial support.

5. Comment: One commenter stated that many child support orders are obtained by con\_ LNAMEC |a149FNAMEC149|a149CITYC+|a149STATEC;|a149CONTROLC=|a149149TYPEC>|a149+s_

2. Actions required within 60 days of receipt. Paragraph (c) (4) requires the IV-D agency in the responding State to complete certain actions with regard to an incoming interstate IV-D case within 60 days of receipt of the forms and documentation on the case from its central registry. The first required action is to provide locate services in accordance with õ303.3, Location of absent parents, if the form or documentation does not include adequate locate information on the absent parent. Section 303.7(c)(4)(i) requires the responding State IV-D agency to do an in-state location search if information provided by the initiating State is inadequate to locate the absent parent to proceed with the requested action. This will avoid needless delays which occur when cases are returned to initiating states because of inadequate location information.

Section 303.7(c)(4)(ii) requires the responding IV-D agency, if unable to proceed with the case because of inadequate documentation, to notify the IV-D agency in the initiating State of the necessary additions or corrections to the form or documentation. States should make every effort to proceed with a case by remedying faulty documentation or accepting documentation not in the usual form required by State or local rules, as longs as the substantive requirements are met.

Section 303.7(c)(iii) requires the responding State IV-D agency, if the documentation received with a case is inadequate and cannot be remedied by the responding IV-D agency without the assistance of the initiating State, to process the case to the necessary extent possible pending necessary action by the initiating State.

Section 303.7(c)(5) requires the IV-D agency, within 10 days of locating the absent parent in a different jurisdiction within the State, to forward the form and documentation to the appropriate jurisdiction within the State and notify the initiating State and the central registry of its action.

Section 303.7(c)(6) requires the responding State IV-D agency, within 10 days of locating the absent parent in a different State, to either return the form and documentation to the initiating State, including the new location, and notify the central registry that the case has been returned to the initiating State or, if directed by the initiating State, forward the form and documentation to the central registry in the State where the absent parent has been located and notify the central registry that the case has been forwarded.

3. Provision of necessary services. Section 303.7(c)(7) contains requirements regarding provision of any necessary services in interstate cases, with the exception of location services which are addressed under õ303.7(c)(4) regarding actions required within 60 days of receipt. It adds, however, that services must be provided as they would be in a similar intrastate case to ensure equal treatment of cases.

Paragraph (c)(7)(i) requires the IV-D agency in the responding State to establish paternity and to attempt to obtain a judgment for costs should paternity be established.

Under paragraph (c)(7)(ii) we require the IV-D agency to establish a support obligation in accordance with õõ 303.4, 303.101 and 306.51.

Paragraph (c)(7)(iii) requires States to process and enforce all orders from other States using appropriate remedies applied in their own cases, in accordance with õõ303.6, 303.100 through 303.105 and 306.51.

Paragraph (c)(7)(iv) requires State IV-D agencies to collect and monitor any support payments and to forward payments to the location specified by the IV-D agency in the initiating State no later than 10 days after the collection is received by the responding State IV-D agency, except with respect to certain Federal tax offset collections as specified in õ303.72(h)(5) of this part. The IV-D agency must include sufficient information to identify the case as well as the responding State's identifying code and indicate when the payment was received by the initial point of receipt within the responding State IV-D agency.

Because under paragraph (c)(7)(iv) responding IV-D agencies are responsible for monitoring support payments, after a responding State obtains a support order it must also initiate enforcement, including wage withholding if there is a one-month arrearage, when it determines a payment is missed, just as it would in an intrastate IV-D case, without requiring or waiting for a specific request from the initiating State.

4. Notice of hearings. Paragraph (c)(8) requires that State IV-D agencies notify the initiating State IV-D agency in advance of any formal hearings which may result in establishment or modification of a support order.

5. Changes in case status. Paragraph (c)(9) requires the responding State to notify the initiating State within 10 days of receipt of new information on a case.

6. Closing a case. Paragraph (c)(10) requires the responding IV-D agency to notify the central registry when a case is closed.

Section 303.7(d)- Payment and recovery of costs in interstate cases

Section 303.7(d) sets forth clear policy on responsibility for payment of costs in interstate IV-D cases, as well as the authority for both States to recover costs of providing services

1. Payment of costs. Under paragraph (d)(1) the responding State IV-D agency is responsible for payment of costs it incurs in interstate cases subject to specific provisions in paragraphs (d) (2) through (4).

Paragraph (d)(2) requires that the initiating State must pay for the cost of blood testing in actions to establish paternity. In addition, if paternity is established in the responding State, the responding State must petition the court for payment of costs by the absent parent, and, if costs of blood testing are recovered from the absent parent, must reimburse the initiating State.

2. Recovery of costs. Paragraphs (d) (4) and (5) addressrecovery costs in non-AFDC interstate IV-D cases. Paragraph (d)(4) allows each IV-D agency to recover the costs it incurs in providing services in interstate non-AFDC cases if it elects to recover costs in all cases.

Paragraph (d)(5) requires the IV-D agency in the responding State to identify any fees or costs deducted from support payments when forwarding payments to the IV-D agency in the initiating State.

Section 305.20 and 305.32 Audit provisions

The regulation revises existing audit criteria in õ305.32 to conform to changes contained in this document. Specifically, the title and introductory phrase are revised to parallel the title of corresponding õõ 302.36 and 303.7. i.e., provision of services in interstate IV-D cases. We amended õ305.32(c) to require that, in order to be found to be in compliance with the State plan requirement for provision of services in interstate IV-D cases at õ302.36, under paragraph (c)(1), a State must have established and be using written procedures for establishing paternity in its own cases using its long-arm statute if it has such a statute which allows establishment of paternity. Paragraph (c)(2) requires a State, in order to be found in compliance with õ302.36, to have established and be utilizing written procedures for establishing paternity or assist in establishing paternity when requested by another State. Existing paragraphs (f) through (i) are redesignated as (g) through (j). The regulation then adds a new paragraph (f) containing audit criterion assessing when States have established and are using procedures governing central registries required under proposed õ302.36(b). We also added to proposed paragraph (g) audit criteria assessing whether States have established and are using written procedures for maintenance of case records, as well as monitoring interstate IV-D cases.

This regulation also amends audit regulations at 45 CFR 305.20 by adding paragraph (d)(5) which includes the audit criteria added to õ305.32 by this regulation. This requires the interstate IV-D case procedures required by audit criteria in õ305.32 to be used in 75 percent of the cases reviewed for each criterion, effective 6 months form publication of the final rule.

We also are making a technical change to õ305.20(b) because of an error in that section published October 1, 1985 in the Federal Register at 50 FR 40101. Reference to õõ305.37(c) and 305.38(c) was erroneously included under õ305.20(b)(2) as opposed to õ305.20(b)(1). We are amending õ305.20(b) to delete reference to those sections in paragraph (b)(2) and add reference to them in paragraph (b)(1). We are also making a technical change to delete reference to "Expedited processes (45 CFR 305.50(b))" from õ305.20(c)(2) because compliance with expedited process requirements is audited under õ305.20(c)(1).

Response to Comments

We received comments from 55 commenters on the Notice ofProposed Rulemaking. Twenty-seven State IV-D agencies, 14 State and District Attorneys and State Court offices, seven public interest groups, three private citizens, two U.S. Senators, one State Supreme Court, and one State Child Support Commission submitted comments.

Sections 301.1 and 303.7(a) Interstate Central Registry

We received over 50 comments on the requirement that States establish a central registry responsible for receiving and controlling all incoming interstate IV-D cases, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding in IV-D cases. The majority of the commenters were concerned with the proposed timeframe for establishing the central registry, duplication of effort, and review of case status every 90 days.

1. Comment: We received 13 comments on the proposed requirement that central registries be operational within 90 days of publication of the final regulation. All of the commenters proposed longer implementation periods ranging from 6 months from publication of the final rule to an indefinite period of time after publication to be determined by the State. Some commenters requested additional time in order to set up automated systems and others requested an implementation date two years from publication of the final rule if legislation is needed to establish the central registry.

Response: With respect to the concern that automated systems are essential for a central registry, we would point out that over 33 States are developing or have already developed an automated system to track and monitor child support cases. We urge States not already developing automated systems to take advantage of the enhanced funding available under title IV-D, which has been available since 1981, to design and develop such systems. However, while automated tracking of cases is desirable, we do not believe it is a prerequisite under this regulation because the central registry's responsibilities do not necessitate maintenance of complete case files. We also do not believe that States will have to enact legislation before they can establish a central registry. A reorganization within the existing State IV-D agency should be all that is necessary. However, we recognize the need to allow adequate time for States to develop procedures for and organize their central registries and in response to States' concerns, have required in this final rule that central registries be operational 6 months from publication. This should allow States that currently do not have central registries adequate time to establish them.

2. Comment: One commenter requested an exemption from establishing a central registry for county-administered IV-D programs.

Response: One of the major problems initiating States face in interstate child support enforcement is determining where in the responding State a case was sent for action and if any action is being taken in that case. This problem is compounded in States with county-administered programs for which there is no single individual or office at the State level with oversightresponsibility for interstate case processing. Establishing a central registry in States with county-administered programs will ensure that initiating States have one contact point within the State if they need to locate an interstate case at the county level or need assistance from the central registry to ensure action is being taken in that case.

3. Comment: One commenter requested that start-cost of establishing a central registry be excluded from administrative costs for the purpose of computing incentives until States have sufficient time to develop a cost effective system.

Response: We believe that the benefits of increased tracking and monitoring of interstate cases to ensure they are worked will outweigh any additional start-up costs of establishing a central registry. Interstate collections, for which responding states receive credit in computing incentives, should increase concurrently with the establishment of the central registry. Therefore, there should not be any initial adverse impact on the amount of incentives a State receives as a result of establishing a central registry, and indeed, increased interstate collections as a result of improved interstate processing will result in increased incentives.

Furthermore, section 458 of the Act specifies that all administrative costs, with the exception of State option of laboratory costs in establishing paternity, must be included in computing incentive payments.

4. Comment: We received a number of comments expressing the concern that establishing central registries will give priority to interstate cases over intrastate cases, create another layer of bureaucracy and duplication of effort, result in built-in delays and double the paperwork in interstate cases. Other comments suggested the proposed definition of a central registry be revised to clarify that the central registry receives, distributes and coordinates incoming interstate cases rather than controls the cases.

Response: Our purpose in revising these regulations is to clarify States' responsibilities in working interstate IV-D cases to ensure adequate attention is given to working those cases. From the beginning of the IV-D program, States have given less than equal attention and treatment to working interstate IV-D cases. We do not believe that these new requirements place greater emphasis on interstate cases than intrastate cases. These requirements are meant to reduce the difficulties States have experienced in processing child support cases across State lines.

The central registry, as required by this regulation, is not intended to be another layer of bureaucracy, duplicate effort in working cases, or delay the processing of those cases. Rather, it is intended to guarantee that cases are quickly routed for the needed service to the appropriate State or local IV-D agency, prosecutor, State Parent Locator Service, etc. for action. The central registry's responsibilities do not include working a case but rather acting as a conduit for cases coming into the State to ensure they quickly reach the individual or agency responsible for their processing. The central registry also is responsiblefor responding to inquiries about the location and status of interstate cases being worked within the State. Therefore, there is no need for two complete case files to be maintained. The central registry needs only to maintain minimal data on the location and status of the case, and update the status upon request.

Since the central registry is required to forward cases for action within 10 days of receipt, there should be no built-in delays. Once a case is sent to the local individual or agency responsible for processing the case contact should be between the initiating State and that local individual or agency. It is not necessary for information to flow back through the central registry. The initiating State should only have to contact the central registry if it has lost track of the case or cannot determine if any action is being taken on the case. The central registry's role, in such cases, is to locate the case and ensure that the case is receiving adequate attention.

Since there was confusion about the proposed role and responsibilities of the central registry, we have revised the definition at õ301.1 to read as follows: " 'Central registry' means a single unit or office within the State IV-D agency which receives, disseminates, and has oversight responsibilities for processing incoming interstate IV-D cases, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding in IV-D cases, and at the option of the State, intrastate IV-D cases." We also revised õ303.7(a)(1) to require the State IV-D agency to establish an interstate central registry responsible for receiving, distributing and responding to inquiries on all incoming interstate IV-D cases, and at the option of the State, all intrastate IV-D cases. We believe that these revisions respond to commenters' concerns about the role of the central registry.

5. Comment: One commenter asked that the option to use the central registry in intrastate IV-D cases involving more than one local jurisdiction be expanded to include all intrastate cases. Another commenter requested that the initiating State be required to send all outgoing interstate cases through its central registry. Finally, a commenter asked that we require the central registry to be the URESA information agent.

Response: In revising our definition of central registry, we allow States to opt to us the central registry for all interstate IV-D cases. States may opt to route all outgoing interstate cases through their central registries, however, that is not a requirement because we believe that the need for additional control of interstate cases is in the State working the case, i.e., the responding State.

We did not require the central registry to be the URESA information agent because all URESA cases are not IV-D cases. However, as stated in the preamble to the proposed regulation, States may control all child support cases, including non-IV-D cases, through the central registry as long as costs are allocated and the State only claims expenditures associated with the IV-D program for Federal reimbursement.

6. Comment: Two commenters stated that the requirement to establish a central registry is premature because there has beenan adequate opportunity to develop interstate linkages under the interstate grant program or to otherwise learn from the interstate grants.

Response: We believe the need to establish interstate central registries is immediate. In fact, because use of central registries is a proven method of effective receipt, acknowledgement, review and control of incoming interstate IV-D cases, we denied application for interstate grants to establish central registries and are requiring establishment of central registries in this final regulation.

7. Comment: One commenter asked if "location-only" requests, in which no other services are requested, must be sent through the central registry.

Response: All requests for services from the IV-D program, including "location-only" requests must be sent through the central registry.

8. Comment: Nine commenters were concerned that 10 days is not adequate time for the central registry to review, forward for action, and acknowledge receipt of a case, request any missing documentation and inform the initiating State where the case was sent for action. Suggested alternatives included 20 working days, 30 days and 10 days after timely verification of the location of the obligor.

Response: We believe that 10 working days is adequate time to perform the limited activities required. The central registry's responsibility is to review the case, determine if any obviously necessary documentation, such as a copy of a support order, financial statement or affidavit, is missing, determine where the case must be sent for action, and forward the case to the appropriate location for action. The central registry is not expected to conduct an in depth analysis of the case but rather an initial review and evaluation in a limited time period. Once the case is referred for action, the agency responsible for processing the case may need to request additional information. With the use of standardized forms, the additional requirements of acknowledging receipt of the case, requesting missing information and indicating where the case was sent will be easily accomplished.

In response to the suggestion that the 10-day timeframe begin after timely verification of the location of the obligor, we wish to clarify that the central registry is responsible for referring the case for location services, if such services are necessary, within the 10-day timeframe.

9. Comment: Two commenters requested that the proposed requirement to forward the case to the appropriate agency for processing under õ303.7(a)(2)(ii) be revised to require forwarding the case to the appropriate agency or court for processing. Commenters also asked whether, and if so how, the central registry determines where to refer the case if there is more than one option and whether the central registry determines which enforcement action to take.

Response: Section 303.7(a)(2)(ii) requires the central registry to forward cases to the appropriate local IV-D agency for necessary action. Forwarding to the court may be an optionif the court operates as the local IV-D agency because it is under cooperative agreement with the State and if this option is appropriate for processing a case. Therefore, although we have not revised this paragraph, the option "appropriate agency" could include the court.

The central registry makes the initial determination of which service is necessary for each incoming case but is not responsible for determining which enforcement action is necessary; that decision is left to the agency or individual responsible for actually working the case. For instance, if the absent parent needs to be located, the central registry must forward the case for location services. If other services are needed, the central registry must determine where in the State to forward the case for appropriate action. That determination must be based on the organization of the IV-D agency in each particular State.

10. Comment: We received several comments requesting clarification about the requirement that the central registry must process the case to the extent possible pending receipt of additional necessary information from the initiating State.

Response: By proposing that the central registry process the case to the extent possible pending receipt of additional information, we mean that the central registry may not simply hold the case until the additional information is received if some action can be taken immediately on that case. For example, if the incoming case did not include a copy of the support order and the location of the absent parent is unknown, the central registry must request a copy of the support order from the initiating State, and must forward the case for location services pending receipt of the support order. In other words, if the additional information is not immediately necessary to work the case, the central registry should forward the case for any action that can be taken pending receipt of the information. Because use of the term "process" may be confused with actually working the case, we have revised paragraph (a)(3) to require the central registry to forward the case for any action which can be taken pending receipt of the additional information.

11. Comment: A number of commenters wanted the initiating State to be allowed to deal directly with the local office handling the case or wanted to limit inquiries to the central registry to those made prior to the initiating State's receipt of notice of where the case was sent for action.

Response: Once a case is forwarded to the appropriate agency or court for action and the initiating State has been notified where the case was sent, we intend that the initiating State and agency or court actually working the case should be in direct contact. In order to adequately work a case the responding jurisdiction responsible for working the case must communicate with the initiating State to request additional information, if necessary, or otherwise communicate on actions taken in the case. Such direct contact is essential and it is not our intention that these ongoing contacts should flow through the central registry.

The requirement is õ303.7(a)(4) for central registries torespond to inquiries from other States is intended for situations in which an initiating State loses track of a case or is unable to determine whether any action is being taken on a case. Inquiries to the central registry should, therefore, be limited to instances where direct contact between the initiating State and the agency or court working the case is ineffective or impossible.

12. Comment: Ten commenters were concerned with the requirement that the central registry review case status at least every 90 days. Three commenters wanted the review more frequently, every 30 or 45 days. Others wanted cases to be reviewed only until they were assigned to a local jurisdiction for processing or only until an order is established and enforcement activities have commenced. Other alternatives included requiring review only in problem cases or with the same frequency as intrastate cases.

Response: We have revised õ303.7(a)(4) to require the central registry to respond to inquiries from other States and to monitor the progress of interstate IV-D cases, upon request, to ensure that any necessary action is completed. We deleted the proposed 90-day case status review because we believe that requiring central registries to review the status of every IV-D case in the State every 90 days is excessively burdensome. Rather, a central registry must review the status of a case upon request of an initiating State, and respond to inquiries from other States about where a case was sent for action or whether action is being taken on a case, and respond within 5 working days of the request. We have added a timeframe because although mandatory periodic review in every case is excessively burdensome, adequate assistance must be provided to other States in locating and ensuring cases are being worked.

The importance of direct frequent contact between the initiating State and the jurisdiction working the case cannot be overstated. Without contact regarding actions taken on a case, cases may remain "in process" for indefinite periods of time. Accordingly, we have added a paragraph (b)(6) to require the initiating State to contact the responding IV-D agency for status updates on cases not in payment status if 90 days elapses since the last contact regarding the particular case. Adding this type of "tickler" ensures that the initiating State is apprised of case processing actions and should there be a problem allows the initiating State to contact the central registry regarding the problem before too much time has elapsed.

To enable central registries to update their files when a case is no longer being worked in the State, we have added a requirement at õ303.7(c)(10), which will require the agency or jurisdiction responsible for processing the case to notify the central registry when the case is closed. This would occur, for example, if the absent parent moves out of the State or dies, or the children reach the age of majority and the support order is no longer in effect and there are no arrearages.

Section 303.7(b) Initiating State IV-D Agency Responsibilities

1. Comment: We received several comments on the proposed requirement that States which have statutory authority to use long-arm jurisdiction in paternity cases be required to use it in appropriate cases, and if paternity is established, to attempt to obtain a judgement for costs. The majority of the commenters did not want long-arm statutes to be mandated as a first option. Some commenters wanted it to be left up to the State's discretion to decide which were "appropriate" paternity cases in which to use the long-arm statute. Others requested that long-arm statutes only be required if the initiating State cannot get URESA services from the responding State. Some of the commenters requested a definition of "appropriate cases." Finally, most of the commenters proposed that States only secure a judgement for costs if it is in the State's best interest.

Response: Establishment of paternity is the very core of a child's right to support and State and federal efforts to improve the process are essential. Several factors must be taken into consideration when discussing which jurisdiction is most appropriate for paternity establishment. First, many jurisdictions are either unable or unwilling to process contested interstate paternity cases. In addition, motivation for successful establishment and prosecution of a child support case is greater when States work their own case. Furthermore, chances of successful adjudication of paternity may increase in jurisdictions where the custodial parent is available to testify. In many cases, witnesses to the relationship between the mother and putative father may all reside in the State where the mother and child live. Use of a long-arm statute for paternity establishment allows the State in which the child may have been conceived, the parties lived together or the mother and accused father had other significant contacts to be the State which determines the factual question of paternity. Currently, State and local IV-D agencies may rely on URESA in many situations where a superior remedy may be available under their existing long-arm authority. URESA is often chosen because program staff and attorneys are unaware of the existence of this alternative. Although the case may involve some additional work in establishing the basis for long-arm jurisdiction, the advantages of proceeding in the State where the mother and child reside far outweigh the disadvantages inherent in many URESA paternity actions.

The fact that motivation for successful prosecution of a child support case is greater when states work their own cases cannot be overstated. If appropriate, the long-arm statute can ensure effective and expeditious paternity establishment. We agree, however, that there are situations when use of a long-arm statute to establish paternity would not be appropriate, e.g., if the basis for jurisdiction is questionable or witnesses are available to testify in the responding State. In these cases, another remedy, such as the URESA process, may be more effective. A requirement that States with statutory authority use long-arm jurisdiction in paternity establishment whenever appropriate will ensure that States examine all available options in each case and choose the most effective one.

Finally, because commenters expressed concerns that in some situations it is not in the States best interest to pursue reimbursement of costs, we are deleting the requirement in

õ303.7(b)(1) that, if paternity is established using a long-arm statute, States must attempt to obtain a judgment for costs. However, we strongly urge States to attempt to recover their own costs, which should be assessed against the defendant.

2. Comment: Two commenters requested that use of long-arm statutes not be limited to paternity establishment cases.

Response: As stated previously, many States and local IV-D agencies rely on URESA actions in many situations where a superior remedy may be available. States with statutory authority to use long-arm jurisdiction in non-paternity cases are permitted to do so and are urged to do so where the result will be more effectively obtained.

3. Comment: We received five comments on the proposed requirement that States promptly refer any interstate IV-D case, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding, to the responding State's central registry for action. All of the commenters requested that cases be forwarded within a specific timeframe. Two commenters suggested that cases must be referred within 10 days of application for IV-D services. In addition, several commenters requested an explanation of how much work the initiating State must do on a case before forwarding it to the responding State for action. One commenter suggested that the initiating State should be required to obtain a valid, current address before forwarding the case to the responding State and require the responding State to do locate only if the address is found to be invalid. Finally, one commenter asked if "any" cases meant "all" cases and requested that regulations clarify than any interstate IV-D case means interstate IV-D cases that the initiating State deems appropriate.

Response: While we agree that interstate IV-D cases must be forwarded in an expeditious manner, cases enter the IV-D system at varying levels of readiness. We believe that adding a timeframe for referring a case is not as important as ensuring that a case is complete enough to send to the responding State's central registry for action.

Before referring a case, a State must make every effort to gather adequate case information as it would in an intrastate case. Using the standardized data elements on the transmittal forms as a guide will help to ensure that the initiating State provides sufficient information to the responding State to enable it to either act on the case or provide location services. Without adequate, accurate information and documentation, successful establishment and enforcement of support orders is impossible. Furthermore, the initiating State is required to send as much information as is available on the location of the absent parent to enable the responding State to locate that individual.

Finally, with regard to the comment that initiating States forward only those cases they deem to be appropriate, States are required to cooperate with one another in locating absent parents, establishing paternity and obtaining and enforcingsupport owed by absent parents to their children. Any interstate IV-D case which requires one or all of these actions, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding, must be referred to the appropriate State's central registry for action.

4. Comment: We received four comments on the proposed requirement that States must submit the appropriate form or a computer-generated alternative of the form which contains the same information with each referral of an interstate IV-D case for action. All of the commenters suggested that in addition to containing the same information, the computer-generated alternatives must be in the same format as the forms. In addition, one commenter stated that the URESA Action Request form duplicates the information already presented in the petition.

Response: As stated in the preamble to the proposed rule, there is an obvious, overwhelming need for standardization of information transfer. In response to the need for uniformity and timely processing of interstate IV-D cases, we have revised paragraph (b)(3) to require that computer-generated replicas of the forms contain the same information and be in the same format as the forms. As previously stated in the preamble to the proposed rule, because one of the crucial needs for improved interstate enforcement is better communication, we encourage States to consider the advantages to using systems link-ups for interstate cases. This will allow for expeditious, accurate transfer of standardized information and greatly reduce the amount of paperwork involved in processing and working interstate IV-D cases.

A package of standardized forms was developed by a committee representing legal, court, judicial and child support professionals to facilitate the performance of child support actions under URESA. The forms are designed to reduce court preparation time and provide easy access to URESA case information. In addition to the URESA Action Request form (which transmits the more specific URESA case information in the package), the package includes a Uniform Support Petition, Paternity Affidavit, General Testimony for URESA, Order and Judgment and Judge's Certificate and Order. The standardized information on the forms should result in more complete, successful interstate child support case actions by improving communications between child support agency personnel and courts; enhancing cooperation between the States involved; and improving the tools available to judges, attorneys and child support agency personnel in working interstate cases. The national use of these forms should eliminate a significant number of delays that currently occur in the transmission of data from State to State. An initial supply of the forms may be obtained from State IV-D Directors. Once again, the transmission of the standardized data elements is more important that the forms themselves and therefore States may submit computer-generated replicas of the forms as long as the replicas contain the same information and are in the same format as the forms.

5. Comment: Five commenters were concerned that 30 days was not a reasonable amount of time to provide the IV-D agency or central registry in the responding State with any requestedadditional information. Some suggestions included specifying 45 days, 60 days and 20 days. In addition, one commenter agreed with the requirement to provide information within 30 days but requested that exceptions be made due to the nature of the information sought. One reason given was that some information requires contact with a local office or client in the initiating State which may result in delays. A commenter suggested that there should be an allowance for notifying the responding State that the information requested is still under research.

Response: Successful processing of interstate cases depends on initiating States making every effort to respond quickly when further communication is needed. We agree with the comment that is some situations, due to the nature of the information sought, it may be necessary to have the option of notifying the responding State that the information is not readily available. This option is preferable to responding that it does not exist because it cannot be obtained within the timeframe. Accordingly, we have revised õ303.7(b)(4) to require that the initiating State must, within 30 days, either provide the requested information or notify the responding State when the information will be provided. Once again, expeditious responses are crucial. Often, the information may be required to respond to a discovery request within a court imposed deadline. We believe 30 days is adequate time since the information is sent directly to the jurisdiction requesting the information, not through the responding State's central registry. If the responding State needs the information sooner, it should advise the initiating State of the urgency of its request.

6. Comment: We received six comments on the proposed requirement that the IV-D agency in the initiating State must notify the IV-D agency in the responding State of any change in case status or information within 10 days of receipt of the information about the change in case status. All of the commenters stated that 10 days is unreasonable and unrealistic and suggested requiring 30 days. In addition, the commenters stated that it is impossible to notify the responding State of a change in AFDC status since status may switch back and forth in a very short period of time. Furthermore, one commenter requested that the specific information be listed in the regulation, e.g., change from AFDC to non-AFDC, change in number of children and new locate leads. Finally, one commenter requested a definition of new information.

Response: Initiating States must make every effort to act quickly when there is a change in case status or new information which may affect case processing. Setting a timeframe is imperative to ensure that the inherent delays in the processing of interstate cases are minimized. We believe 10 working days is adequate time to notify the responding State of receipt of new information via the forms or computer-generated replicas. In addition, we want to reiterate that the initiating State must notify the individual or jurisdiction working the case in the responding State of any change in case status or information. As previously stated, States should consider the advantages to using automated systems link-up for interstate cases to allow forexpeditious transfer of information.

With respect to the request for clarification of the meaning of "new information", any information affecting case status must be sent including changes from AFDC to non-AFDC and vice versa, AFDC closure, change in number of children for whom support is sought, new locate leads, etc. Notifying the responding State of changes in AFDC status is necessary for reporting purposes and even though this status may change often, the initiating State's burden is small because an updated form is sent directly to the responding jurisdiction within 10 days of the receipt of the new information, not within 10 days of the change in status.

Section 303.7(d) Payment and Recovery of Costs in Interstate

IV-D Cases

1. Comment: We received several comments on the proposed requirement that the initiating State must pay for the cost of bloodtesting in actions to establish paternity. One commenter stated that the initiating State should approve bloodtests on a cost-effectiveness basis. In addition, two commenters wanted clarification in who must pay for costs of travel, food, lodgings, expert witness fees, etc. in paternity establishment cases. Finally, one commenter requested that in cases where testimony would be a hardship in either party, the court allow obtaining testimony through telephonic or video means.

Response: The cost of establishing paternity and lack of clear responsibility for payment of cost are often cited as major impediments to pursuing paternity establishment in interstate IV-D cases. We cannot stress strongly enough our concerns that these issues, such as cost effectiveness of blood testing, are secondary to the lasting value of paternity establishment. The benefits so far outweigh the costs, over the long-run, that fiscal considerations should rarely be considered an obstacle to the ultimate goal.

Since the responding State has ultimate responsibility for filing the petition, preparing evidence, presenting testimony, etc., that State should determine whether bloodtests are necessary. The initiating State, however, is only responsible for the costs of drawing and analyzing the blood. Expert witness fees, depositions and other costs of the paternity trial must be borne by the responding State. We would encourage initiating States, in appropriate cases, to provide affidavits and videotaped testimony. Costs of preparing evidence or testimony in the initiating State should, of course, be paid by the initiating State.

Federal financial participation at the applicable matching rate is available for services and activities determined to be necessary expenditures properly attributable to the Child Support Enforcement program. Finally, we strongly urge States to consider the benefits of using available technology and telecommunication as an alternative to traditional testimony in enforcing child support cases. Teleconferencing and other forms of telecommunication would be expeditious, efficient and cost-effective.

Section 303.7(c) Responding State IV-D Agency Responsibilities

1. Comment: Several commenters expressed concern about the requirements in õ303.7(c)(1) through (3) for case management procedures, periodic review of program performance, and adequate organizational structure and staff to ensure interstate cases are provided necessary services. Concerns were expressed that these requirements place greater emphasis on interstate cases than intrastate cases and that States retain the right to provide interstate case in the same manner and on the same basis as intrastate cases.

Response: As explained in the preamble to the proposed regulation, õõ302.10, 302.12, 303.2 and 303.20 set forth requirements for maintenance of case records, regular planned evaluations of operations at the local level and minimum organizational and staffing requirements for the IV-D program. State IV-D programs have been responsible since the inception of the program for meeting these requirements for all cases, both interstate and intrastate. However, we added specific requirements for interstate cases because lack of performance standards for, and adequate staff to work, interstate cases is often cited as a major reason for poor State performance on interstate cases.

With respect to case prioritization, States which opt to prioritize cases in accordance with the requirements of õ303.10 may continue to include interstate cases as long as all regulatory requirements are met.

2. Comment: Some commenters were confused about use of the term "central registry" versus "IV-D agency". One commenter asked who is responsible for submitting a request to the Federal Parent Locator Service (PLS).

Response: As explained earlier, the central registry's responsibilities are limited to actions taken within 10 days of receipt of a case and responding to inquiries subsequent to that case being assigned to the agency or court for processing. The central registry's responsibilities are enumerated in section 303.7(a). When we refer to the IV-D agency, or any entity under contract or cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency which is responsible for working the case. We stress that the central registry is not responsible for working the case but rather for ensuring that the case is sent to the appropriate agency or court for action. Any action taken on a case after the initial 10-day period after receipt by the central registry is the responsibility of the State or local IV-D agency, including the State PLS and any entity which is under contract or has a cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency. Finally, only the State PLS, in accordance with õ303.70, may submit requests to the Federal PLS.

3. Comment: We received a number of comments on the requirement that, within 60 days of receipt of a case, the IV-D agency must provide location services if the request is for location services or if there is inadequate location information on the absent parent. Several commenters indicated that 60 daysis inadequate for providing location services, especially if the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) is involved, wanted to extend that period to 90 days and only wanted to require initiation of location services within that timeframe.

Response: This is not a new requirement. Section 303.3(d) requires States to use all appropriate location sources within 60 days of receipt of a case. This requirement merely reiterates longstanding Federal policy with respect to providing location services.

OCSE has undertaken a major effort to reduce the time it takes to respond to requests for use of the Federal PLS resources. In addition, we intend to enhance the Federal PLS's ability to provide information to the States by linking the FPLS to State PLS's and the regional hubs developed through the interstate grants. In order to maximize the effectiveness of this enhanced system, grant funds have been made available to States to enable them to develop the capability to transfer data reliably without mailing tapes using a magnetic tape transfer system (enabling the State to transfer large amounts of data quickly, efficiently and inexpensively via ordinary long-distance telephone lines).

4. Comment: We received four comments on the adequacy of the information provided by initiating States for purposes of locating absent parents. Commenters wanted to ensure that initiating States are required to make every effort to provide sufficient locate information or that minimum location information be established in these regulations.

Response: Initiating States are required to send as much information as is available on the location of an absent parent to enable the responding State to locate that individual. It is in the initiating State's best interest to provide any available information which would help to locate the absent parent. Responding States in turn must make every effort to locate those individuals using all resources.

5. Comment: Several commenters requested that if an absent parent is located in another jurisdiction the case be returned to the initiating State with the new location information and that the initiating State be responsible for forwarding the case to the central registry in the new State.

Response: In response to these comments we made the following changes to the regulation. We revised õ303.7(c) by adding a new paragraph (5) to require that within 10 days of locating the absent parent in a different jurisdiction within the State, the responding IV-D agency must forward the form and documentation to the appropriate jurisdiction within the State and notify the initiating State and the central registry where the case was sent for action. We then added a new paragraph (c)(6) to require that, if the absent parent is residing in a different State, the responding State IV-D agency must, within 10 days of locating the absent parent in the different State, either return the form and documentation, including the new location of the absent parent, to the initiating State and notify the central registry that the case has been returned to the initiating State, or if so directed by the initiating State, forward the form anddocumentation to the central registry in the State where the absent parent has been located and notify the central registry that the case has been forwarded.

5. Comment: One commenter was confused that the requirement in õ303.7(c)(4)(iii) for the responding IV-D agency to request additional documentation if unable to proceed with the case was limited to instances when further information was required in order to locate the absent parent.

Response: We have clarified paragraph (c)(4)(iii), (redesignated as (c)(4)(ii)) by specifying that, if the responding State is unable to proceed with the case because of inadequate documentation, it must notify the initiating IV-D agency of any necessary additions or corrections to the form or documentation. For example, this provision would apply if the responding State could process the case because the initiating State did not provide a financial statement or did not supply adequate information in a financial statement.

6. Comment: Several commenters commented on the requirement in proposed paragraph (c)(5) (redesignated as paragraph (c)(4)(iii)) that the responding IV-D agency must process the case to the extent possible pending receipt of additional information from the initiating State. One commenter wanted to substitute "to the extent practical" for "to the extent possible" while another insisted action couldn't be taken if the information was insufficient.

Response: We disagree. For example, if additional information is necessary to locate the employer of an absent parent, but a support order has been established and arrearages have accrued pursuant to that order, the responding State could attempt to impose a lien against real or personal property of the absent parent pending receipt of additional information necessary to identify the absent parent's employer and initiate wage withholding.

7. Comment: One commenter requested that the requirement that the IV-D agency establish paternity under proposed paragraph (c)(6) (redesignated in the final regulation as paragraph (c)(7)) be revised to include that paternity be established in accordance with the laws of the responding State.

Response: Because all States must be able to establish paternity in interstate cases in order to qualify for funding under the IV-D program, we have not revised the requirement. We believe that with the expanded use of genetic testing and telecommunications to record evidence and present testimony, most impediments to interstate establishment of paternity have been removed. It only remains for States to more fully utilize the tools which are available to facilitate the fair and efficient resolution of paternity disputes across State lines.

8. Comment: We received nine comments on the requirement that responding States must forward collections to the initiating State within 10 days of collection. Suggestions included forwarding collections within three days of receipt, 10 working days, 15 days, 30 days or after the check clears. States did not want to alter their normal distribution schedule to process interstate payments. One commenter was concerned that thetimeframe could not be met if the payment had to be sent through the central registry to the initiating State. Another commenter indicated that an exception to the 10-day rule must be made for Federal income tax refund offset collections in non-AFDC cases involving a joint return because a State may delay distribution of amounts offset for a period not to exceed 6 months, in accordance with 45 CFR 303.72(h).

Response: This requirement has been in effect at 45 CFR 303.52(f)(1) since May 9, 1985, when final regulations implementing the Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984 were published. There are naturally built-in delays in distributing collections in interstate cases. Therefore, it is essential to minimize the amount of time taken in transferring these collections from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This need far outweighs the argument against altering regular distribution systems used in intrastate cases. Some States currently forward payments within three days of receipt and we urge all States to eliminate any delays in forwarding payments. With regard to State concerns that there is a need to build in additional delays to allow for check clearance, we believe that 10 days is adequate in most cases. Many child support payments are made in cash, by wage withholding, or with local checks which should clear quickly.

Finally, we agree that 45 CFR 303.72(h)(5) allows States to delay distribution of Federal income tax refund offset collections in non-AFDC cases for a period not to exceed six months from notification of offset or until notified that the unobligated spouse's proper share of the refund has been paid, whichever date is earlier. Therefore, we have added this exception to the 10 day requirement in õ303.7(c)(7)(iv).

9. Comment: Several commenters requested that the responding State be required to tell the initiating State when the collection was made and whether it was a current support payment, for the purpose of determining whether a $50 disregard payment it appropriate. One commenter requested that the date of collection for distribution purposes be the date the payment was received by the responding State.

Response: Current regulations at 45 CFR 302.51(a) require that the date of collection "shall be the date on which the payment is received by the IV-D agency in the State in which the family is receiving aid."

We proposed changing that requirement in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published in the Federal Register on September 19,1984 (49 FR 36780). We had proposed that date of collection should be the date the payment was received "by the IV-D agency of the State in which the collection is made," or, in wage withholding cases, "the date the employer withholds the wages to meet the support obligation." Those changes were widely criticized by States on the basis of anticipated difficulty in verifying collection and withholding dates in interstate cases, and the final rule, published on May 9, 1985 (50 FR 19608) retained the existing definition of date of collection. We believe that some States may have improved their tracking and monitoring systems in the last two years and we have receivedindications from some commenters that it may be appropriate to review once again our date of collection policy. As an essential first step in our plans to revise the definition for interstate cases, we believe that both States should be apprised of the date when the support payment was actually received by the first point of contact within the responding State IV-D agency. Thus, we have required in paragraph (c)(7)(iv) that the responding State inform the initiating State of that date.

Because the responding State agency must forward the collection within 10 days of receipt, the $50 disregard payment will generally be credited for the same month in which it was actually made.

10. Comment: We received 11 comments on the requirement in paragraph (c)(7) (redesignated as paragraph (c)(8)) that the responding State IV-D agency notify the initiating State IV-D agency in advance of any hearings in an interstate IV-D case. A number of commenters wanted the responding State IV-D agency to notify both the custodial parent and the initiating State IV-D agency in advance of any informal or formal hearings or negotiations. Other commenters felt it is too burdensome to notify the initiating State of routine enforcement hearings and that notice should only be provided when the case is received, an obligor is located, the case is assigned and an order is entered. Finally, commenters requested clarification of the terms "formal" hearings and "timely notice".

Response: With respect to requests that the responding IV-D agency be required to deal directly with the custodial parent by providing notice of hearings or other activities in a case, we would point out that the initiating IV-D agency may be seeking arrearages only and the custodial parent may not even be involved. Furthermore, it is not the responding State's responsibility to be in direct contact with the custodial parent and it would be overly burdensome to require them to do so. In addition, the responding State generally does not even have the custodial parent's address. However, we would point out that the initiating State IV-D agency is representing the custodial parent and should keep the custodial parent apprised of significant actions taken in his or her case. As stated in the preamble to the proposed regulation, while we are not mandating notice of informal hearings or negotiations, we urge frequent contact between IV-D agencies to ensure that the custodial parent's and childrens' best interests are being represented by the responding State IV-D agency. We believe that the use of guidelines to establish child support awards as well as the prohibition against retroactive modification of child support arrearages should also protect the custodial parent's and childrens' interests in interstate cases. Therefore, while only mandating notice of formal hearings, that is, court or administrative hearings to establish or modify an order, in these regulations, we encourage frequent contact between State agencies in interstate cases to ensure the most equitable outcome in these cases.

In response to the request for clarification of the phrase "timely notice", a responding State should provide notice as far in advance of a hearing as it would expect to receive notice fromanother State and at least as much notice as is given for intrastate cases. We strongly urge initiating States to advise responding States of current status and any recent developments which may act the outcome of the case.

11. Comment: We received six comments on the requirement in paragraph (c)(8), redesignated as paragraph (c)(9), that the responding State notify the initiating State within 10 days of receipt of new information on a case. Several commenters wanted the requirement to be extended to 30 days. Others wanted the requirement to be deleted or limited to pertinent information, or information which affects the status of the case or is needed by the initiating State for action.

Response: We strongly believe that the responding State must keep the initiating State informed about the status of an interstate case by notifying the initiating State of receipt of new information or actions taken in a case. Almost any new information on a case which might affect the status of that case should be conveyed to the initiating State.

Sections 305.20 and 305.22 Audit Provisions

1. Comment: One commenter stated that FY 1987 is too early to include audit criteria because the regulation would not be published in final until the latter part of the same fiscal year.

Response: We agree and have deleted FY 1987 audit criteria for these requirements. As stated previously, we have required in this final rule that central registries be operational 6 months from publication. Therefore, we are revising õ305.20(d)(2) to include the audit criteria added to õ305.32 by this regulation, effective six months from publication of the Final Rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This proposed regulation at 45 CFR 303.7(a)(2) and (4), (b), (c)(1), (4), (7)(iv), (8) and (9), (d)(4) and 45 CFR 305.32 (d), (f), and (g) contains information collection requirements which are subject to OMB review under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-511). The public is not required to comply with these information collection requirements until OMB approves them under section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act. A notice will be published in the Federal Register when OMB approval is obtained.

Economic Impact

The Child Support Enforcement program was established under title IV-D of the Act by the Social Services Amendments of 1974, for the purposes of enforcing the support obligations owed by absent parents to their children, locating absent parents, establishing paternity and obtaining child support. The IV-D program collected $3.2 billion in FY 1986 - $1.2 billion on behalf of children receiving AFDC and $2.0 billion on behalf ofchildren not receiving AFDC. Of total collections, $192 million were interstate collections. State and local expenditures amounted to $926 million. Collections for AFDC families are used to offset the costs of assistance payments made to such families. The intent of this regulation is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the processing of interstate IV-D cases, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the Child Support Enforcement program. Although hard data are not available, it is expected that this regulation will result in increased interstate activity and doubled interstate collections. In addition, a minor increase in administrative costs is anticipated.

For the most part this regulation merely strengthens existing regulations and results in minor additional costs. We expect an increase in caseload, however, since the process will be streamlined and cases will be on Federal and State budgets and State operations. Federal and State expenditures are projected to increase; however we believe that the increase will be more than offset by the increase in collections, and therefore, a net savings to State governments will result.

Executive Order 12291

The Secretary has determined, in accordance with Executive Order 12291, that this rule does not constitute a "major" rule. A major rule is one that is likely to result in:

--An annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more;

--A major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or

--Significant adverse effects of competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of the United States bases enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic or import markets.

As discussed above, the regulation will gave an insignificant impact on State and Federal expenditures.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Secretary certifies, under 5 U.S.C. 605(b), as enacted by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 66-354), that this regulation will not result in a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The primary impact is on State governments and individuals, which are not considered small entities under the Act.

List of Subjects

45 CFR Parts 301, 302, and 303

Child welfare, Grant Programs, Social programs.

45 CFR Part 305

Child welfare, Grant programs, Social programs, Accounting.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 13.783, Child Support Enforcement Program.)

Dated: July 20, 1987.

Wayne A. Stanton

Director, Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Approved: December 4, 1987.

Otis R. Bowen

Secretary

PART 301-[AMENDED]

1. The authority citation for Part 301 is revised to read as set forth below, and the authority citations following all sections of Part 301 are removed:

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 651 through 658, 660, 664, 666, 667, and 1302.

õ301.1 [Amended]

2. 45 CFR Part 301, õ301.1 is amended by inserting the following definition between the definitions of "Applicable matching rate" and "Department":

"Central registry" means a single unit or office within the State IV-D agency which receives, disseminates and has oversight responsibility for processing incoming interstate IV-D cases and, at the option of the State, intrastate IV-D cases, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding in IV-D cases and, at the option of the State, intrastate IV-D cases.

PART 302-[AMENDED]

3. The authority citation for Part 302 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 651 through 658, 660, 664, 666, 667, 1302, 1396a(a)(25), 1396b(d)(2), 1396(o), 1396b(p) and 1396(k).

4. 45 CFR Part 302 is amended by revising õ302.36 to read as follows:

õ302.36 Provision of services in interstate IV-D cases.

(a) The State plan shall provide that the State will extend the full range of services available under its IV-D plan to any other State in accordance with the requirements set forth in õ303.7 of this chapter for:

(1) Locating an absent parent who is present in the State;

(2) Establishing paternity;

(3) Establishing a child support obligation;

(4) Securing compliance by an absent parent who is present in the State with a court order or an order of an administrative process established under State law for the support and maintenance of a child or children and of the spouse (or former spouse) who is living with the child or children and who is receiving services under a IV-D State plan in another State; and

(5) Carrying out any other functions required under its approved IV-D State plan.

(b) The State plan shall provide that the State will establish a central registry for interstate IV-D cases in accordance with the requirements set forth in õ303.7(a) of this chapter.

PART 303 - [AMENDED]

5. The authority citation for Part 303 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 651 through 658, 660, 663, 664, 666, 667, 1302, 1396a(a)(25), 1396b(d)(2), 1396b(o), 1396b(p), and 1396(k).

6.45 CFR Part 303 is amended by revising õ303.7 to read as follows:

õ303.7 Provision of services in interstate IV-D cases.

(a) Interstate central registry. (1) The State IV-D agency must establish an interstate central registry responsible for receiving, distributing and responding to inquiries on all incoming interstate IV-D cases, including URESA petitions and requests for wage withholding in IV-D cases, and at the option of the State, intrastate IV-D cases no later than (6 months from publication).

(2) Within 10 days of receipt of an interstate IV-D case from an initiating State, the central registry must;

(i) Ensure that the documentation submitted with the case has been reviewed to determine completeness;

(ii) Forward the case for necessary action either to the State PLS for location services or to the appropriate agency for processing;

(iii) Acknowledge receipt of the case and ensure that any missing documentation has been requested from the initiating State; and

(iv) Inform the IV-D agency in the initiating State where the case was sent for action.

(3) If the documentation received with a case is inadequate and cannot be remedied by the central registry without the assistance of the initiating State, the central registry must forward the case for any action which can be taken pending necessary action by the initiating State.

(4) The central registry must respond to inquiries from other States within 5 working days of receipt of the request fora case status.

(b) Initiating State IV-D agency responsibilities. The IV-D agency must:

(1) If the State has a long-arm statute which allows paternity establishment, use the authority to establish paternity whenever appropriate.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(1), promptly refer any interstate IV-D case to the responding State's interstate central registry for action, including URESA petitions and requests for location, document verification, administrative reviews in Federal income tax refund offset cases, wage withholding, and State income tax refund offset in IV-D cases.

(3) Provide the IV-D agency in the responding State sufficient, accurate information to act on the case by submitting with each case any necessary documentation and either the Interstate Child Support Enforcement Transmittal Form or the URESA Action Request Form package as appropriate. The State may use a computer-generated replica in the same format and containing the same information in place of either form.

(4) Provide the IV-D agency or central registry in the responding State with any requested additional information or notify the responding State when the information will be provided within 30 days of receipt of the request for information by submitting an updated form or a computer-generated replica in the same format and containing the same information and any necessary additional documentation.

(5) Notify the IV-D agency in the responding State within 10 days of receipt of new information on a case by submitting an updated form and any necessary additional documentation.

(6) Contact the responding State IV-D agency for status update on cases not in payment status if 90 days has elapsed since the last contact with the responding State IV-D agency.

(c) Responding State IV-D agency responsibilities. (1) The IV-D agency must establish and use procedures for managing its interstate IV-D caseload which ensure provision of necessary services and include maintenance of case records in accordance with õ303.2 of this part.

(2) The IV-D agency must periodically review program performance on interstate IV-D cases to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedures established under this section.

(3) The State must ensure that the organizational structure and staff of the IV-D agency are adequate to provide for the administration or supervision of the following support enforcement functions specified in õ303.20(c) of this part for its interstate IV-D caseload: Intake; establishment of paternity and the legal obligation to support; location; financial assessment; establishment of the amount of child support; collection; monitoring; enforcement and investigation.

(4) Within 60 days of receipt of an Interstate Child Support Enforcement Transmittal Form, a URESA Action Request Form or other alternative State form and documentation from its interstate central registry, the IV-D agency must:

(i) Provide location services in accordance with õ303.3 of this part if the request is for location services or the formerdocumentation does not include adequate location information on the absent parent;

(ii) If unable to proceed with the case because of inadequate documentation notify the IV-D agency in the initiating State of the necessary additions or corrections to the form or documentation.

(iii) If the documentation received with a case is inadequate and cannot be remedied by the responding IV-D agency without the assistance of the initiating State, the IV-D agency must process the interstate IV-D case to the extent possible pending necessary action by the initiating State.

(5) Within 10 days of locating the absent parent in a different jurisdiction within the State, the IV-D agency must forward the form and documentation to the appropriate jurisdiction and notify the initiating State and central registry of its action.

(6) Within 10 days of locating the absent parent in a different State, the IV-D agency must-

(i) Return the form and documentation, including the new location, to the initiating State, or, if directed by the initiating State, forward the form and documentation to the central registry in the State where the absent parent has been located; and

(ii) Notify the central registry where the case has been sent.

(7) The IV-D agency must provide any necessary services as it would in intrastate IV-D cases by:

(i) Establishing paternity in accordance with õ303.5 of this part and attempting to obtain a judgment for costs should paternity be established;

(ii) Establishing a child support obligation in accordance with õ õ303.4 and 303.101 of this part and õ306.51 of this chapter;

(iii) Processing and enforcing orders referred by another State, whether pursuant to the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act or other legal processes, using appropriate remedies applied in its own cases in accordance with õ õ303.6 and 303.100 through 303.105 of this part and õ306.51 of this chapter; and

(iv) Collecting and monitoring any support payments from the absent parent and forwarding payments to the location specified by the IV-D agency in the initiating State no later than 10 days after the collection is received by the responding State IV-D agency except with respect to certain Federal tax offset collections as specified in õ303.72(h)(5) of this part. The IV-D agency must include sufficient information to identify the case, indicate when the payment was received by the initial point of receipt within the responding State IV-D agency and include the responding State's identifying code as defined in the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication (FIPS) issued by the National Bureau of Standards or the Worldwide Geographic Location codes issued by the General Services Administration.

(8) The IV-D agency must provide timely notice to the IV-D agency in the initiating State in advance of any formal hearings which may result in establishment or modification of an order.

(9) The IV-D agency must notify the IV-D agency in the initiating State within 10 days of receipt of new information on a case by submitting an updated form or a computer-generated replica in the same format and containing the same information.

(10) The IV-D agency must notify the interstate centralregistry in the responding State when a case is closed.

(d) Payment and recovery of costs in interstate IV-D cases. (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (4), the IV-D agency in the responding State must pay the costs it incurs in processing IV-D cases.

(2) The IV-D agency in the initiating State must pay for the costs of blood testing in actions to establish paternity.

(3) If paternity is established in the responding State, the IV-D agency in the responding State must attempt to obtain a judgment for the costs of blood testing from the putative father, and, if costs of blood testing are recovered, must reimburse the initiating State.

(4) Each IV-D agency may recover its costs of providing services in interstate non-AFDC cases in accordance with õ302.33(d) of this chapter.

(5) The IV-D agency in the responding State must identify any fees or costs deducted form support payments when forwarding payments to the IV-D agency in the initiating State in accordance with õ303.7(c)(7)(iv) of this section.

õ303.52 [Amended]

7. 45 CFR Part 303 is further amended by removing paragraphs (e) and (f) from õ303.52.

PART 305-[AMENDED]

8. The authority citation for Part 305 is revised to read as follows:

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 603(h), 604(d), 652(a) (1) and (4), and 1302.

õ305.20 [Amended]

9. 45 CFR 305.20 is amended by:

a. Amending õ305.20(b)(1) by adding the words "and (c)" after "305.37(a)" and after "305.38(a)";

b. Amending õ305.20(b)(2) by removing "Bonding of employees. (45 CFR 305.37(c))" and "Separation of cash handling and accounting functions. (45 CFR 305.38(c))"; and

c. Amending õ 305.20(c)(1) by adding the words "and (b)" after "305.50(a)";

d. Amending õ305.20(c)(2) by removing "Expedited processes. (45 CFR 305.50(b))"; and

e. Adding a new paragraph (d)(5) to read as follows:

õ305.20 Effective support enforcement program

* * * * *

* * * * *

(d) For fiscal year 1988 and future audit periods:

* * * * *

* * * * *

(5) Effective (6 months from publication) the proceduresrequired by the criteria prescribed in õ305.32(a) through (h) of this part must be used in 75 percent of the cases reviewed for each criterion.

10. 45 CFR 305.32 is amended by revising the title, the introductory text and paragraphs (c) and (d), redesignating paragraphs (f) through (i) as (g) through (j), revising newly designated (g) and adding a new paragraph (f) to read as follows:

õ305.32 Provision of services in interstate IV-D cases.

For purposes of this part, to be found in compliance with the State plan requirement for provision of services in interstate IV-D cases (45 CFR 302.36), a State must:

* * * * *

(c) Have established and be utilizing written procedures for:

(1) Using its long-arm statute to establish paternity in its own cases, if the State has a long-arm statute that allows establishment of paternity; and in establishing paternity when requested by another State.

(d) Have established and be utilizing written procedures for establishing support orders upon request by another State, including procedures for responding to a complaint under the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA);

* * * * *

(f) Have established and be utilizing written procedures governing the central registry and its required activities;

(g) Have established and be utilizing written procedures for maintenance of case records and monitoring the status of cases upon which the State is taking action on behalf of another State;

* * * * *

[FR Doc. 88-3577 Filed 2-19-88; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4150-04-M