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Summary Information for Software Releases 17-01 and 17-02

DCL-17-05

Published: August 3, 2017

DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER

DCL-17-05

DATE:  August 3, 2017

TO:  State IV-D Directors

SUBJECT:  Summary Information for Software Releases 17-01 and 17-02

Dear Colleague:

The information provided below summarizes the changes included in software releases 17-01 and 17-02 and whether the changes impacted batch programs or Portal applications. If a change requires state action, it is noted in that item.

  1. Federal Case Registry (FCR) (Portal and Batch) – We enhanced the FCR to allow you to opt out of receiving IRS locate responses, if you submitted the data election form to suppress IRS information. With this enhancement, you may opt out of receiving IRS locate batch responses for both Portal and batch. This was implemented in November 2016.
  2. Child Support Portal (Portal) – We added the Data Reliability Audit application to the Portal in December 2016 to improve security of personally identifiable information (PII) data. States were able to upload the FY 2016 Data Reliability Audit file using the Portal. This method of submitting files will be used by states going forward.
  3. Intergovernmental Reference Guide (IRG) (Portal)
    1. We enhanced the IRG to include two new contact types for Interstate Case Reconciliation (ICR) contacts to improve state-to-state communication when states work the ICR reports. OCSE initially entered all ICR state contacts. This addition was effective in February 2017.
    2. We are adding a new contact type for Insurance Match (IM) state contact information. OCSE will initially load all state IM contacts. This change was effective in June 2017.
  4. Federal Collection and Enforcement (Portal and Batch)
    1. We included Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service’s new payment type, Manual Payment, in the states’ weekly Collection and Adjustment batch record and on the Portal. This was implemented in February 2017.
    2. In May 2017, we enhanced the appropriate reports to include and identify manual payments when a state receives a manual payment in its weekly offset collection. This enhancement identifies a manual payment (when there is one) on additional weekly collection reports.
    3. We enhanced the Trace Number Query page on the Portal to include the federal paying agency for an administrative offset. This enhancement will allow users to determine the payer origin of an administrative offset, which may be helpful for customer service or research purposes. This was implemented in February 2017.
    4. We enhanced the Emergency Release Portal option to include a ‘Never Eligible for Passport Denial’ reason for an erroneously certified debtor whose arrears never exceeded the minimum required threshold amount of $2,500 for certification. This change was implemented in February 2017.
    5. We enhanced the Federal Collection and Enforcement system to retire the use of the administrative offset (ADM) exclusion indicator and convert ADM to RET (Retirement) and VEN (Vendor) exclusions in outgoing transactions. This was implemented in February 2017.
    6. We enhanced the Federal Collection and Enforcement application to reject state payments when they are for an offset older than seven years. This was done to comply with the seven-year data retention requirement for federal offset information. States will not need to change their systems to take advantage of this enhancement.
    7. We enhanced the Federal Offset Fraud Referral program to reject requests submitted via the Portal for IRS investigation if the offset date is older than six months from the referral date. The user will be notified of the reject by email on the following business day. The new Portal error and reject code helps states and OCSE comply with Treasury’s recently implemented rule (31 CFR 285), restricting Treasury from recouping disbursed erroneous or fraudulent tax refund offset collections from states after six months. You did not have to make any changes to your state system for this enhancement. This change was implemented in February 2017.
  5. Federally Assisted State Transmitted (FAST) Levy – We enhanced the FAST Levy system by adding two new response codes to notify states when a financial institution releases the freeze on a previously frozen account or reduces the freeze amount on a previously frozen account. Before this enhancement, there were no financial institution-initiated codes to notify states when there had been a change in the status of a previously frozen account. This change was made available in May 2017 in anticipation of the financial institution beginning to send the new codes in August 2017. If your state is using the FAST Levy process, you may need to make changes to accept and process the new codes.
  6. Portal Infrastructure – There are two technical changes being made to the Portal. These enhancements adhere to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and federal requirements and will strengthen the security posture of the connectivity between OCSE and state proxy servers. If states are not able to comply with the specified timeframes, they will no longer be able to access any applications on the Portal.
    1. The first change was implemented in June 2017. OCSE eliminated Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) v3 for accessing the Portal.
    2. The second change is being implemented by September 30, 2017. OCSE is eliminating Transport Layer Security (TLS) versions 1.0 and 1.1 because they are no longer acceptable standards under federal requirements. This change impacts approximately half of the states. OCSE is currently working directly with states’ technical resources to upgrade to TLS v1.2 by the deadline.
  7. NDNH – State Statistical Reporting System (Portal) – We are enhancing the State Statistical Reporting System application to allow authorized users to view Employer Participation Project reports. This enhancement will enable state users to receive Employer Participation Project reports on the Portal and eliminates security risks involved in the physical media handling of PII data. States will need to pass a new user role in the header to give users access to the Employer Participation Project reports in the State Statistical Reporting System application. This change was implemented in June 2017.
  8. Self-Assessment (Portal)
    1. We added the ability to copy text from the prior year report into the current year report to allow for ease in making minor changes to the text from one year to the next. This enhancement was effective in February 2017.
    2. We provided a text editing tool with functionality similar to Word within the application. The text editor allows bullet formatting, bold text, italics and a number of other features. This tool assists the user in retaining formats when copying and pasting text from a Word document. The text editor was available beginning in June 2017.
  9. State Plan (Portal) – We updated the application to include the changes to plan pages required by the Final Rule titled “The Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs.” These changes were effective in March 2017.

For a copy of the Release Manifests or for detailed specifications about these changes, refer to the FPLS Release Management Resources webpage. The technical resources for each change are listed in the documents.

We will use IV-D Director e-flashes to share future software releases.

Sincerely,

Scott M. Lekan
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Last Reviewed: July 3, 2017

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