Update- Automated Systems for Child Support Enforcement: A Guide for States - Revised April 1999


Publication Date: August 28, 2000


OCSE-AT-00- 07

DATE: August 28, 2000



PURPOSE: This transmits the updates to AUTOMATED SYSTEMS FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT: A GUIDE FOR STATES [The Guide], revised April 1999, and updated December 23, 1999 . This document, required by 45 CFR 307.25[b], defines the requirements that States must meet to satisfy provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 [PRWORA], related to statewide automated child support enforcement systems. Under PRWORA, States must have in effect a statewide automated data processing and information retrieval system which by October 1, 1997, meets all the requirements of title IV-D of the Social Security Act enacted on or before the date of enactment of the Family Support Act of 1988 [FSA88], and by October 1, 2000, meets all the title IV-D requirements enacted under PRWORA.

BACKGROUND: The Guide was originally issued in July 1987 for use by States in developing automated Child Support Enforcement [CSE] systems. A revised Guide was issued with action transmittal ACF-OISM-AT-93-03 in June 1993 for the purpose of defining the requirements of FSA88. The Guide was updated to reflect PRWORA functionality in March 1999 as OCSE AT-99-06 and revised on December 23, 1999 as OCSE AT-99-16.

DISCUSSION: This document updates the March 1999 Guide by providing 1) corrections and clarifications to the Certification Objectives, 2) an update of Appendix A to provide new references to Action Transmittals, Dear Colleagues and other guidance materials, 3) an update of Appendix B that provides guidance to States in updating their Certification Questionnaire for PRWORA certification reviews, 4) an update of Appendix C that provides a checklist of PRWORA requirements, 5) a new Appendix D that provides areas where conditional PRWORA certification is permissible to allow a phased implementation of certification requirements after the statutory deadline, and 6) a new Appendix E that summarizes the Questions and Answers on certification. The Guide is the principal document for State use in developing PRWORA compliant automated state child support systems; however, continued use of the June 1993 version is appropriate for States still working to meet FSA88 requirements.

The Guide defines the minimum functionality required of child support automated State systems and establishes the certification criteria for States' use in meeting all Title IV-D requirements as prescribed by FSA88, PRWORA, and implementing regulations. Program and system regulations form the foundation of the Guide.

As we mentioned in OCSE AT-99-06, OCSE plans to issue semi-annual updates to the Guide of which this is the second update. The revisions to the certification guide were derived from comments from the IV-D Directors Association and individual States during a series of conference calls and meetings. OCSE appreciates the thoughtful comments, suggestions and questions posed by the States.

The most significant changes to the PRWORA objectives are the following:

  • OCSE has deferred the certification requirement for D-7 (e) which referred to the 7 digit FIPS code for the Interstate Referral Guide, pending further analysis and discussion on the usefulness of these intra-county designations. However, many States do depend on the FIPS address information and OCSE urges States to continue to update their FIPS information utilizing the on-line Interstate Referral Guide at https://extranet.acf.hhs.gov/irg/welcome.html Visit disclaimer page
  • OCSE has revised Objective F-3 (d)(3) to delete the requirement that the State be capable of transmitting outgoing EFT/EDI in CTX format. The State is now required to transmit only in the CCD+ format. The requirement for the State to be capable of accepting transmittals in both CCD+ and CTX formats remains.
  • OCSE has revised Objective C3(g) to reflect that the system must support the establishment of support orders including document generation only if State law provides for the administrative establishment of support orders.

The appendices have changes as follows:

(Appendices are superseded by 2009 version of the guide)

  • Changes to Appendix A- References to Action Transmittals (ATs) and Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) pertinent to certification that are new since the last update.
  • Changes to Appendix B - Revisions to the Appendix B regarding guidance to States during the development of documentation prior to the on-site certification review as well as demonstration during the on-site visit. The primary revisions are in deferring the Automated IRG and clarifying guidance on the Security & Family Violence requirements.
  • Changes to Appendix C - Additional PRWORA requirements identified but already in the Guide.
  • New Appendix D - Areas for possible Conditional certification identified
  • New Appendix E - Compilation of Questions and Answers on Certification issues.

The previous update to the PRWORA certification guide, OCSE AT-99-16 dated December 23, 1999, provided only change pages to the Certification Guide. Based on comments from States, this action transmittal provides the entire revised Certification Guide. States have the option of downloading the entire Revised Guide or just the correction pages and updated Appendices. OCSE has also put on its Web site a version of the Guide that highlights the PRWORA changes to the Guide. A summary of the changes to the Guide since the December 1999 update, as well as a summary of the changes between the April 1999 revision and the December 1999 update (no longer available online).

REGULATION REFERENCES: 45 CFR Parts 302, 303, 304, and 307

SUPERSEDED MATERIAL: This Guide supersedes the AUTOMATED SYSTEMS FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT: A Guide for States Seeking Enhanced Funding, Revised July 1987.

INQUIRIES: Director, Division of Child Support Information Systems (202) 690-1244.



David Gray Ross, Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Current as of: