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Data Reliability Audit Requirements for FY 2017


Published: December 6, 2017



DATE: December 6, 2017


SUBJECT: Data Reliability Audit Data Transmittal Requirements for FY 2017

ATTACHMENT: Data Submission Specifications Required for FY 2017 Data Reliability Audits.pdf

Dear Colleague:

Section 452(a)(4)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act requires OCSE‘s Office of Audit to conduct audits at least once every three years to determine the reliability of performance standards.  This year we relayed the data submission specifications to you in advance of this letter to allow your information technology department to begin processing the request as early as possible.  The Office of Audit did not make any changes to the specification spreadsheet from fiscal year (FY) 2016 and the specifications we shared earlier remain the same.  Attached are the data submission specifications for FY 2017 Data Reliability Audits (DRA).

The 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, 2017, 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 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.  If you have not already captured the audit trail information for your state’s performance indicator data for FY 2017, abide by the requirements in this attachment.

DCL-04-02, Data Reliability Audit Process for Auditing States Less Frequently than Annually, describes when the Office of Audit will conduct a DRA.  When a state is not subject to a DRA, we will conduct a Data Reliability Review (DRR) by conducting analytical procedures on Lines 1, 2, 5 and 6, or 8 and 9, 24, 25, 28, and 29 according to the DRR process.  Also, to review the Cost-Effectiveness performance indicator, we will 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 and OCSE audit requirements.  To safeguard and ensure the integrity of your state’s data, the database file of the universe and audit trails must be encrypted in a zip file using the following nomenclature:  XX17DRA (State abbreviation, Year, DRR, PAT as applicable).  The audit liaison or other authorized state user is the only individual that can upload the file to the Child Support Portal effective December 11, 2017.  Unencrypted or improperly named files may be rejected.  As an additional safety measure, states must provide the password for the encrypted zip file to their designated audit office only via telephone.  Please do not transmit the password in an email, voice mail or text message.

We trust that you will be able to provide us with the audit trails associated with your FY 2017 OCSE-157 in the suggested format by January 31, 2018.  States that are submitting corrected data from prior periods may want to refer to DCL-17-09, “Submittal of OCSE-157 for FY 2017” with instructions for submitting the OCSE-157 for FY 2017 and resubmitting data for FY 2016.  States must submit OCSE-157 reports for both the current and prior periods through the Online Data Collections (OLDC) system, while the audit liaison or other authorized state user must upload the corresponding audit trails to the Portal.

All states are strongly encouraged to provide read-only, remote system access to the auditors and have your systems staff contact the auditors to ensure that the read-only remote system access functions properly.  Read-only remote access to a state’s child support system is a requirement detailed in the Automated Systems for Child Support: Guide for States, that allows the Office of Audit to review sample cases more efficiently and effectively and results in less disruption of state and local child support operations.  The guide is available on the OCSE website.

If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact Kimberly Smith at


Scott M. Lekan
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Last Reviewed: April 11, 2019
Archived: February 12, 2020

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