DATE: October 25, 2017
TO: Tribal IV-D Directors
SUBJECT: Format of 2016 Annual Report to Congress
This letter notifies all comprehensive tribal directors of a change to the format of the 2016 Annual Report to Congress.
As the new commissioner, I reviewed my first annual report to Congress as part of the clearance process. Staff informed me about the changes that were made to the annual report based on conversations with tribes. As a result, each tribe has two pages in the Tribal Performance section of the report. The first tribal page includes the tribe’s seal, a map of the tribal area, a graph of collections, and a financial and statistical overview (required data elements) based on data that the tribe submitted in their reports through the Online Data Collection System (OLDC). For the second page, each tribe decides what narrative summary, special points of interest, and footnotes to include.
There needs to be more consistency in the tribal information that we provide to Congress. The second page of each tribal report is not uniform. Some tribes report on all three sections, while others submit information for only one or two sections. In fact, 40 percent of tribes did not submit anything for the second page. I understand the importance of this information; however, without consistency, the intended benefit is not realized. To make tribal reporting consistent and focused on data, I have decided to reduce the tribal performance section to just the first tribal page, which includes the statistical and financial data that all comprehensive tribes report.
Additionally, these changes help to align the report with the purpose of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. They streamline it and minimize the cost to the federal government for the creation, collection, maintenance, use, dissemination, and disposition of information [see 44 USC 3501(5)].
The narrative reports are required by the tribal IV-D regulation. We continue to read this information and use it to identify trends and issues that develop in the tribal program. We appreciate learning about your accomplishments and innovations, which help to move the program forward.
Please feel free to contact the OCSE Division of Performance and Statistical Analysis at DPSAsupport@acf.hhs.gov with your questions or comments.
Scott M. Lekan
Office of Child Support Enforcement