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TANF-ACF-PI-1997-06 (Form ACF-198, Emergency TANF Data Report, Approved by the Office of Management and Budget OMB) Through 01/31/1998 (Control No. 0970-0164))

Published: September 30, 1997
Audience:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Topics:
Data Collection and Reporting, TANF Data Reporting Systems
Types:
Program Instructions (PI), Reporting Forms
Tags:
Data Collection and Reporting Requirements, Emergency Fund

To:

State agencies administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and other interested parties

Subject:

Form ACF-198, Emergency TANF Data Report, Approved by the Office of Management and Budget OMB) Through 01/31/1998 (Control No. 0970-0164)

References:

Sections 411 of the Social Security Act (SSA) and Section 116 of Public Law 104-193, the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA)," enacted August 22, 1996.

Background:

The provisions of the SSA and PRWORA cited above provide authority for the Secretary to collect data on the operation of the TANF program including information necessary to calculate the State work participation rates.  The law also requires the Secretary to report this information to the Congress via annual reports beginning April 1, 1998.  Section 116 specifies that TANF data collection begins with the July - September 1997 quarter for States that submitted complete TANF State plans by January 1, 1997.

We plan to issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) soon that includes ongoing reporting requirements for the TANF program.  However, we do not expect to have a final rule until next year.  Therefore, in order to meet the reporting requirements of the above-cited statutes, we have obtained OMB clearance to collect a streamlined set of these data elements that represents the self-implementing portion of the TANF data collection requirements specified in the statute.  We have provided guidance for some of the data elements primarily based on requests from States; however, States may define their data elements based on a reasonable interpretation of the statute.

Purpose:

The purpose of this Program Instruction is to provide State agencies the uniform reporting procedures, generic sampling specifications, and file formats for the databases and transmission files for the Emergency TANF Data Report.

Action Required:

State agencies that submitted complete TANF State plans as described in section 402(a) of the SSA to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by January 1, 1997, must establish reporting procedures immediately to begin reporting with the July-September 1997 quarter.  These States are required to report retrospectively based on a reasonable interpretation of the statute. All other States must establish reporting procedures and begin reporting the first day of the first full month following six months after the State implements TANF.  Some of these States also are required to report retrospectively based on a reasonable interpretation of the statute, i.e., those States that are required to report prior to the date of this Program Instruction.

Examples of when States must report:

If a State Implements TANF

First Reporting Period

Reports Due

March 1, 1997

September 1, 1997 - September 30, 1997

11/14/97

April 10, 1997

November 1, 1997 - December 31, 1997

02/14/98

July 1, 1997

January l, 1998 - March 31, 1998

05/15/98

ACF Systems staff are creating a computer system that will allow States to transmit their data electronically in a fixed-file format to a computer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  A Windows-based, PC system will be developed using a Windows-based tool (PowerBuilder and its associated database, SQL Anywhere), and will have the following features:

  • Data entry and simple editing capability;
  • Ability to create fixed-format transmission files
    (see attachment for initial draft of flat-file formats) for electronic transfer; and
  • Generic printing capability.

States may submit a sample using the attached generic sampling specifications and file formats for the databases and transmission files, or States may submit data for their entire caseloads.

Submittal Instructions:

Reports for each sample month in a quarter are due into the Central Office of the Administration for Children and Families within 45 days following the end of the quarter.

Effective Date:

July 1, 1997

Attachments:

  • Form ACF-198, "Emergency TANF Data Report;"
  • Generic Sampling Specifications";
  • the basic edits for the data entry to a windows-based system
    • Section 1 (Families Receiving TANF Assistance - Actives)
    • Section 2 (Families No Longer receiving TANF Assistance)
    • Section 3 (Families Receiving TANF Assistance - Aggregated); and
  • the transmission file format that the system will create.

Inquiries:

Inquiries should be directed to the appropriate ACF Regional Administrator.

/s/
Howard Rolston
Director
Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation