Data Reliability Audit Requirements FY 2019


Publication Date: October 18, 2019



DATE: October 18, 2019

TO: State IV-D Directors

SUBJECT: Data Reliability Audit Requirements FY 2019

ATTACHMENT: Required Data Submission Specifications for FY 2019

Dear Colleague:

Section 452(a)(4)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act requires OCSE's Office of Audit (OA) to conduct audits of states and territories at least once every three years to determine the reliability of the performance standards used to calculate incentive payments.

Attached are the required data submission specifications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. Please begin working with your information technology department to process this request as early as possible.

OA evaluates the completeness, reliability, and security of performance indicator data reported by the states and the accuracy of the reporting systems used in calculating the performance indicators.

This requires electronic files from each state that contain the complete, unduplicated child support case universe as of Sept. 30, 2019, including:

  • All open IV-D cases
  • Closed cases
  • Non-IV-D cases
  • Audit trails for each line on the OCSE-157 used to compute performance indicators

The process OA uses to validate the audit trails depends on the table names, field names, and data type matching the attached specifications. Any deviation can affect the acceptance of the audit trails and completion of the audit. Deviations may also adversely affect the timeliness in which OCSE can issue incentive payments to states. Sending the data in the standard format as specified is extremely important to expedite the audit work and ensure timely incentive payments to states and territories .

Audit Frequency and Audit Trail Filing Requirements

DCL-04-02, "Data Reliability Audit Process for Auditing States Less Frequently than Annually," describes when OA will conduct a Data Reliability Audit (DRA). When a state or territory is not subject to a ORA, OA will conduct a Data Reliability Review (DRR) by analyzing Lines 1,2, 5 and 6, or 8 and 9, 24, 25, 28, and 29 according to the ORR process. To review the Cost-Effectiveness performance indicator, we will also evaluate whether we can verify selected amounts reported on the OCSE-34 and the OCSE-396 to the first level of state documentation.

Whether receiving a DRA or DRR, states must ensure that the universe and the performance indicator audit trails are in the prescribed format in accordance with the OCSE-157 reporting instructions for FY 2019 and OCSE audit requirements.

The Child Support Portal (Portal) is available for file uploads. States must upload the universe and performance indicator audit trails for FY 2019 to the Portal in the attached format by Jan. 31, 2020. Failure to upload the universe and audit trails by Jan. 31, 2020, or to follow the data submission specifications may result in the file's rejection. If the universe or audit trails are determined to be incomplete or unreliable, revisions will not be allowed. These deficiencies will affect your incentive payments and could result in a financial penalty. Only your state's audit liaison or authorized person can upload files to the Portal.

In addition, to safeguard and ensure the integrity of your state's data, the database file of the universe and audit trails must be submitted in an encrypted zip file using the nomenclature XX19DRA (State abbreviation, Year, DRR, PAT as applicable). Unencrypted or improperly named files may be rejected. Do not encrypt the database file, only encrypt the zip file. For added security, the user must provide the password for the encrypted zip file to their designated auditor(s) over the phone. Do not email the password, leave a voice mail or send it in a text message.

As a reminder, please submit your OCSE-157 reports through the Online Data Collections (OLDC) System. DCL-19-11, "Submittal of OCSE-157 for FY 2019," dated Sept. 12, 2019, provides instructions for submitting the OCSE-157 for FY 2019 and rules for resubmitting previous years' data.

State System Access to Audit

All states must provide read-only remote system access to your designated auditor(s). Please contact your auditor to ensure that the read-only remote system access functions properly. Read-only remote access to your state's child support system is a requirement as detailed in AT-17-11,"Automated Systems for Child Support Enforcement: A Guide for States (Certification Guide)," dated Sept. 19, 2017, that allows auditors to review sample cases more efficiently and effectively and results in less disruption of state and local child support operations.

Please contact Director Mona Ferrell at if you have questions.


Scott M. Lekan
Office of Child Support Enforcement

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