Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG) International Requirements
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: November 5, 2015
TO: ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG) International Requirements
State child support agencies are asked to answer 17 new questions on the Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG) by January 21, 2016, in order to conform with new international child support requirements.
In September 2014, President Obama signed Public Law (P.L.) 113-183, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act. Title III, section 301 of the Act amended section 452 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 652) by adding the following: ‘‘(n) The Secretary shall use the authorities otherwise provided by law to ensure the compliance of the United States with any multilateral child support convention to which the United States is a party.’’
The United States is in the process of ratifying the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (2007 Child Support Convention). Article 57 of the 2007 Child Support Convention requires a country to provide specific information concerning its laws, procedures, and services to facilitate case processing among Convention countries. Countries may use the 2007 Child Support Convention Country Profile form (Country Profile) to submit this information.
The Country Profile provides country-specific information such as enforcement measures, the basis upon which maintenance decisions are established, modification provisions, a summary of the administrative or judicial procedures generally used for applications, and payment processing information. The Country Profile also contains contact information and identifies any special documents or information the country requires with regard to applications under the 2007 Child Support Convention. Completed Country Profiles for all countries that are party to the 2007 Child Support Convention are on the Hague Conference website.
As the Central Authority for the U.S. under the Convention, OCSE is completing the Country Profile for the United States. However, much of the information in the Country Profile relates to case management and legal processes that are unique to each U.S. state. OCSE will provide this state-specific information in the Country Profile by linking to the appropriate section of the IRG. While much of the information required by the Country Profile is already part of the IRG, such as the state age of majority and enforcement tools, we added 17 new questions to the IRG to address additional information needed for the Country Profile. Examples of the new content include questions on electronic documentation and personal service methods. All of the new questions are marked with a double asterisk (**). The new questions went live on the IRG on October 21, 2015. State child support agencies should answer the new questions within 90 days, by January 21, 2016.
OCSE also made other changes to the IRG in preparation for implementing the 2007 Child Support Convention. Some of these changes include a new Hague Profile Query linking the U.S. states’ answers to specific Country Profile questions (to help other countries access the information) and adding the Hague Conference website link on the Resources page. Also, in addition to adding addresses for reciprocating countries, we incorporated contact information for the 2007 Child Support Convention countries.
We greatly appreciate your timely response to the new questions on the IRG. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Angela Kasey-Henry at 703-367-1659 or Angela.Kasey-Henry@acf.hhs.gov, or your regional OCSE office.
Office of Child Support Enforcement