42 U.S.C. 652 - Duties of Secretary

Cite as42 U.S.C. 652

(a) Establishment of separate organizational unit; duties

The Secretary shall establish, within the Department of Health and Human Services a separate organizational unit, under the direction of a designee of the Secretary, who shall report directly to the Secretary and who shall-

(1) establish such standards for State programs for locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, and obtaining child support and support for the spouse (or former spouse) with whom the noncustodial parent's child is living as he determines to be necessary to assure that such programs will be effective;

(2) establish minimum organizational and staffing requirements for State units engaged in carrying out such programs under plans approved under this part;

(3) review and approve State plans for such programs;


(A) review data and calculations transmitted by State agencies pursuant to section 654(15)(B) of this title on State program accomplishments with respect to performance indicators for purposes of subsection (g) of this section and section 658a of this title;

(B) review annual reports submitted pursuant to section 654(15)(A) of this title and, as appropriate, provide to the State comments, recommendations for additional or alternative corrective actions, and technical assistance; and

(C) conduct audits, in accordance with the Government auditing standards of the Comptroller General of the United States-

(i) at least once every 3 years (or more frequently, in the case of a State which fails to meet the requirements of this part concerning performance standards and reliability of program data) to assess the completeness, reliability, and security of the data and the accuracy of the reporting systems used in calculating performance indicators under subsection (g) of this section and section 658a of this title;

(ii) of the adequacy of financial management of the State program operated under the State plan approved under this part, including assessments of-

(I) whether Federal and other funds made available to carry out the State program are being appropriately expended, and are properly and fully accounted for; and

(II) whether collections and disbursements of support payments are carried out correctly and are fully accounted for; and

(iii) for such other purposes as the Secretary may find necessary;

(5) assist States in establishing adequate reporting procedures and maintain records of the operations of programs established pursuant to this part in each State, and establish procedures to be followed by States for collecting and reporting information required to be provided under this part, and establish uniform definitions (including those necessary to enable the measurement of State compliance with the requirements of this part relating to expedited processes) to be applied in following such procedures;

(6) maintain records of all amounts collected and disbursed under programs established pursuant to the provisions of this part and of the costs incurred in collecting such amounts;

(7) provide technical assistance to the States to help them establish effective systems for collecting child and spousal support and establishing paternity, and specify the minimum requirements of an affidavit to be used for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity which shall include the social security number of each parent and, after consultation with the States, other common elements as determined by such designee;

(8) receive applications from States for permission to utilize the courts of the United States to enforce court orders for support against noncustodial parents and, upon a finding that (A) another State has not undertaken to enforce the court order of the originating State against the noncustodial parent within a reasonable time, and (B) that utilization of the Federal courts is the only reasonable method of enforcing such order, approve such applications;

(9) operate the Federal Parent Locator Service established by section 653 of this title;

(10) not later than three months after the end of each fiscal year, beginning with the year 1977, submit to the Congress a full and complete report on all activities undertaken pursuant to the provisions of this part, which report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(A) total program costs and collections set forth in sufficient detail to show the cost to the States and the Federal Government, the distribution of collections to families, State and local governmental units, and the Federal Government; and an identification of the financial impact of the provisions of this part, including-

(i) the total amount of child support payments collected as a result of services furnished during the fiscal year to individuals receiving services under this part;

(ii) the cost to the States and to the Federal Government of so furnishing the services; and

(iii) the number of cases involving families-

(I) who became ineligible for assistance under State programs funded under part A during a month in the fiscal year; and

(II) with respect to whom a child support payment was received in the month;

(B) costs and staff associated with the Office of Child Support Enforcement;

(C) the following data, separately stated for cases where the child is receiving assistance under a State program funded under part A (or foster care maintenance payments under part E), or formerly received such assistance or payments and the State is continuing to collect support assigned to it pursuant to section 608(a)(3) of this title or under section 671(a)(17) or 1396k of this title, and for all other cases under this part:

(i) the total number of cases in which a support obligation has been established in the fiscal year for which the report is submitted;

(ii) the total number of cases in which a support obligation has been established;

(iii) the number of cases in which support was collected during the fiscal year;

(iv) the total amount of support collected during such fiscal year and distributed as current support;

(v) the total amount of support collected during such fiscal year and distributed as arrearages;

(vi) the total amount of support due and unpaid for all fiscal years; and

(vii) the number of child support cases filed in each State in such fiscal year, and the amount of the collections made in each State in such fiscal year, on behalf of children residing in another State or against parents residing in another State;

(D) the status of all State plans under this part as of the end of the fiscal year last ending before the report is submitted, together with an explanation of any problems which are delaying or preventing approval of State plans under this part;

(E) data, by State, on the use of the Federal Parent Locator Service, and the number of locate requests submitted without the noncustodial parent's social security account number;

(F) the number of cases, by State, in which an applicant for or recipient of assistance under a State program funded under part A has refused to cooperate in identifying and locating the noncustodial parent and the number of cases in which refusal so to cooperate is based on good cause (as determined by the State);

(G) data, by State, on use of the Internal Revenue Service for collections, the number of court orders on which collections were made, the number of paternity determinations made and the number of parents located, in sufficient detail to show the cost and benefits to the States and to the Federal Government;

(H) the major problems encountered which have delayed or prevented implementation of the provisions of this part during the fiscal year last ending prior to the submission of such report; and

(I) compliance, by State, with the standards established pursuant to subsections (h) and (i); and

(11) not later than October 1, 1996, after consulting with the State directors of programs under this part, promulgate forms to be used by States in interstate cases for-

(A) collection of child support through income withholding;

(B) imposition of liens; and

(C) administrative subpoenas.

(b) Certification of child support obligations to Secretary of the Treasury for collection

The Secretary shall, upon the request of any State having in effect a State plan approved under this part, certify to the Secretary of the Treasury for collection pursuant to the provisions of section 6305 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 the amount of any child support obligation (including any support obligation with respect to the parent who is living with the child and receiving assistance under the State program funded under part A) which is assigned to such State or is undertaken to be collected by such State pursuant to section 654(4) of this title. No amount may be certified for collection under this subsection except the amount of the delinquency under a court or administrative order for support and upon a showing by the State that such State has made diligent and reasonable efforts to collect such amounts utilizing its own collection mechanisms, and upon an agreement that the State will reimburse the Secretary of the Treasury for any costs involved in making the collection. All reimbursements shall be credited to the appropriation accounts which bore all or part of the costs involved in making the collections. The Secretary after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury may, by regulation, establish criteria for accepting amounts for collection and for making certification under this subsection including imposing such limitations on the frequency of making such certifications under this subsection.

(c) Payment of child support collections to States

The Secretary of the Treasury shall from time to time pay to each State for distribution in accordance with the provisions of section 657 of this title the amount of each collection made on behalf of such State pursuant to subsection (b).

(d) Child support management information system

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