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Special General Memorandum 98-1


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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Public Health Service
     Indian Health Service
 Rockville MD 20857

SGM 98-1

AUG 25, 1998

TO: All Employees

FROM: Director

SUBJECT: Executive Order 13019 "Supporting Families:  Collecting Delinquentt Child Support Obligations"

The purpose of this memorandum is to inform all Indian Health Service (IHS) employees of Executive Order (E.O.) 13019, "Supporting Families: Collecting Delinquent Child Support Obligations" (copy attached).  In keeping with this E.O., I am directing IHS employees to educate or sensitize all vendors, contractors, grant recipients, scholarship recipients, beneficiaries of loan repayment programs, tribes and tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations about the importance of providing financial support for their children in a timely manner.

The E.O. was signed by President Clinton on September 28, 1996.  It requires Government agencies to develop procedures necessary for the Secretary of the Treasury to collect past due child support payments by using measures such as administrative offset, pursuant to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.  The President states in E.O. 13019 that "the failure of some parents to meet their child support obligations threatens the health, education, and well-being of their children.  Compounding this problem, States have experienced difficulties enforcing child support obligations once a parent has moved to another State.  With this Executive Order, my Administration takes additional steps to support our children and strengthen American families by facilitating the collection of delinquent child support obligations from persons who may be entitled or eligible to receive certain Federal payments or Federal assistance."

I share the President's concerns regarding the threat to the well-being of our Nation's children when parents fail to meet their obligations of financial support.

Therefore, I am requesting each of you to assist me in this educational effort to provide this information to all recipients of IHS payments.

Sincerely yours,

/Michel E. Lincoln for/
Michael H. Trujillo, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Assistant Surgeon General


THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release

September 28, 1996

EXECUTIVE ORDER
SUPPORTING FAMILIES:
COLLECTING DELINQUENT CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS

The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321-358 et seq.), was enacted into law on April 26, 1996, as part of the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996.  While the primary purpose of the Debt Collection Improvement Act is to increase the collection of nontax debts owed to the Federal Government, the Act also contains important provisions that can be used to assist families in collecting past-due child support obligations.

The failure of some parents to meet their child support obligations threatens the health, education, and well-being of their children.  Compounding this problem, States have experienced difficulties enforcing Child support obligations once a parent has moved to another State.  With this Executive order, my Administration takes additional steps to support our Children and strengthen American families by facilitating the collection of delinquent child support obligations from persons who may be entitled or eligible to receive certain Federal payments or Federal assistance.

Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Administrative Offsets.  (a) (1) The Secretary of the Treasury ("the Secretary"), in accordance with the provisions of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and to the extent permitted by law, and in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and other affected agencies, shall promptly develop and implement procedures necessary for the Secretary to collect past-due child support debts by administrative offset, and shall issue such rules, regulations, and procedures as the Secretary, in consultation with the heads of affected agencies, deems appropriate to govern administrative offsets by the Department of the Treasury and other executive departments and agencies that disburse Federal payments.

(2) The Secretary may enter into reciprocal agreements with States concerning the collection by the Secretary of delinquent child support debts through administrative offsets.

(b) The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, within 120 days of the date of this order, implement procedures necessary to report to the Secretary of the Treasury information on past-due child support claims referred by States (including claims enforced by States pursuant to cooperative agreements with or by Indian tribal governments) to the Department of Health and Human Services.

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(OVER)

(c) The head of each executive department and agency that certifies payments to the Secretary or to another disbursing official shall review each class of payments that the department or agency certifies to determine if any such class should be exempt from offset and, if any class is so identified, submit to the Secretary a request for such an exemption together with the reasons therefor.  With respect to classes of payments under means-tested programs existing on the date of this order, such submission shall be made within 30 days of the date of this order.  With respect to classes of payments other than payments under means-tested programs existing on the date of this order, such submissions shall be made within 30 days of the date the Secretary establishes standards pursuant to section 3716(c)(3) of title 31, United States Code.  With respect to a class of payments established after the date of this order, such submissions shall be made not later than 30 days after such class is established.

(d) The head of each executive department and agency that certifies payments to the Secretary shall promptly implement any rule, regulation, or procedure issued by the Secretary pursuant to this section.

(e) The head of each executive department and agency that is authorized by law to disburse payments shall promptly implement any rule, regulation, or procedure issued by the Secretary pursuant to this section and shall:

(1) match, consistent with computer privacy matching laws, the payment certification records of such department or agency with records of persons delinquent in child support payments as directed by the Secretary; and

(2) conduct administrative offsets to collect delinquent child support payments.

(f) The Secretary shall, to the extent permitted by law, share with the Secretary of Health and Human Services any information contained in payment certification records of persons who are delinquent in child support obligations that would assist in the collection of such debts, whether or not an administrative offset is conducted.

Sec. 2.  Denial of Federal Assistance.  (a) The Secretary shall, to the extent permitted by law, ensure that information concerning individuals whose payments are subject to administrative offset because of delinquent child support obligations is made available to the head of each executive department and agency that provides Federal financial assistance to individuals.

(b) In conformance with section 2(e) of this order, the head of each executive department and agency shall, with respect to any individuals whose payments are subject to administrative offset because of a delinquent child support obligation, promptly implement procedures to deny Federal financial assistance to such individuals.

(c) The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and other affected agencies, shall promptly issue guidelines for departments and agencies concerning minimum due-process standards to be included in the procedures required by subsection (b) of this section.

(d) For purposes of this section, Federal financial assistance means any Federal loan (other than a disaster loan), loan guarantee, or loan insurance.

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(e) (l) A class of Federal financial assistance shall not be subject to denial if the head of the concerned department or agency determines:

(A) in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, that such action:

(i) is not permitted by law; or

(ii) would likely result in valid legal claims for damages against the United States;

(B) that such action would be inconsistent with the best interests of the child or children with respect to whom a child support obligation is owed; or

(C) that such action should be waived.

(2) The head of each executive department and agency shall provide written notification to the Secretary upon determining that the denial of a class of Federal financial assistance is not permitted by law or should be waived.

(f). The head of each executive department and agency shall:

(1) review all laws under the jurisdiction of the department or agency that do not permit the denial of Federal financial assistance to individuals and whose payments are subject to administrative offset because of a delinquent child support obligation and, where appropriate, transmit to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget recommendations for statutory changes; and

(2) to the extent practicable, review all rules, regulations, and procedures implementing laws under the jurisdiction of the department or agency governing the provision of any Federal financial assistance to individuals and, where appropriate, conform such rules, regulations, and procedures to the provisions of this order and the rules, regulations, and procedures issued by the Secretary pursuant to section 1 of this order.

Sec. 3.  Reports.  (a) The head of each executive department and agency shall provide to the Secretary such information as the Secretary may request concerning the implementation of this order, the provisions of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 applicable to delinquent child support obligations, and the rules, regulations, and procedures issued by the Secretary pursuant to section 1 of this order.

(b) The Secretary shall report annually to the President concerning the implementation by departments and agencies of this order and the provisions of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 applicable to delinquent child support obligations.

Sec. 4.  Judicial Review.  This order does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, or any person.

WILLIAM J. CLINTON

THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 28, 1996.


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