image Visit coronavirus.govVisit disclaimer page for the latest Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) updates.
View ACF COVID-19 Responses and Resources
« Back to Search

Data Reliability Audit Requirements for FY 2016


Published: September 29, 2016



DATE:  September 29, 2016


RE: Data Reliability Audit Requirements for FY 2016

Attachment: Data Submission Specifications Required for FY 2016 Data Reliability Audits

Dear Colleague:

The data submission specifications for the federal fiscal year (FY) 2016 Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Data Reliability Audits (DRAs), as required by Section 452(a)(4)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act, are attached. Although the required submissions are due by the end of 10 business days after the beginning of calendar year 2017, we are providing the specifications as early as possible to coordinate with your information technology departments.

Because of the technical nature of the data specifications, it is important that you provide this DCL and the attachment to the staff developing the program that will produce the audit trails. The process used by the auditors to validate the audit trails depends on the table names, field names and data type agreeing with these specifications. Any deviation can affect the acceptance of the audit trails and the prompt initiation and completion of the audit.

DCL-04-02, Data Reliability Audit Process for Auditing States Less Frequently than Annually, dated January 21, 2004, describes when a DRA will be conducted. As stated in the DCL, when a state is not subject to a DRA, the Office of Audit will conduct a Data Reliability Review (DRR). Audit staff will follow the DRR process by conducting analytical procedures on Lines 1, 2, 5 and 6, or 8 and 9, 24, 25, 28 and 29, as outlined in DCL-04-02. Also, to review the Cost-Effectiveness performance indicator, we will evaluate whether selected amounts reported on the OCSE-34 and the OCSE-396 could be verified to the first level of state documentation.

The OCSE Office of Audit will continue to evaluate 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 September 30, 2016, including all open IV-D cases, closed cases and non-IV-D cases, and the audit trails for each line on the OCSE-157 used in the computation of performance indicators. The specifications for these files are in the attached data submission requirements.

States must ensure that the universe and the performance indicator audit trails are in accordance with the OCSE-157 reporting instructions and our audit requirements because getting the data in a standard format from all states and territories will expedite the audit work. Submissions are required for both DRAs and DRRs. To safeguard your state’s data and ensure the integrity of the data, the database file of the universe and audit trails must be encrypted in a zip file using the following nomenclature:  XX16DRA (State abbreviation, Year, DRR, PAT as applicable). This file will be uploaded to the Child Support Portal by an authorized state user. The Portal will be ready to accept your database file of the universe and audit trails by the middle of January 2017.  As an additional safety measure, you must send the password for the encrypted zip file to the designated audit office in a separate communication.

We trust that you will be able to provide us with the audit trails in the suggested format. You have until December 31, 2016, to submit the final FY 2016 OCSE-157 report and January 31, 2017, to provide the associated audit trails. Additionally, corrected OCSE-157 reports for prior periods must also be received within the deadlines stated above.  States that are submitting corrected data from prior periods may want to refer to DCL-16-16, “Submitting the OCSE-157 for FY 2016 and Resubmitting Data for FY 2015,” dated September 27, 2016. OCSE-157 reports for both the current and prior periods must be submitted through the Online Data Collections (OLDC) system, while the audit trails must be uploaded to the Portal by an authorized state user.

We urge all states to provide read-only system access to the auditors. Please have your systems staff contact the auditors to ensure that read-only remote system access is provided and functions properly. Read-only remote access to a state’s child support system allows the Office of Audit to review sample cases more efficiently and effectively in the data-testing phase of the audit. It enables a better allocation of scarce resources and results in less disruption of state and local child support operations. Read-only access is a requirement detailed in the OCSE State Systems Certification Review, available on the OCSE website.

If you have any questions or need our assistance as you work with systems staff to develop the audit trail file. If you have any questions regarding access to the Child Support Portal, contact Linda Boyer at or Kimberly Smith at


Vicki Turetsky
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Last Reviewed: April 11, 2019
Archived: February 11, 2020

Was this page helpful?

Step One
I found this page helpful because the content on the page: (check all that apply)
I did not find this page helpful because the content on the page: (check all that apply)

Your feedback is important to us and will help improve our website. Thank you!

Step Two
Back to Top