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Self-Assessment: Audit Methodology and Code of Federal Regulations

This article shows the rules and requirements in operational areas to allow the offices and the CSS program as a whole comply with federal program standards.

Audit and Performance Purpose

Within Child Support Services the Center for Professional Development, Administrative Review has the responsibility of conducting Program Reviews and Internal Control Reviews. The Center of Finance and Budget has the responsibility of conducting Financial Processing Reviews. These Reviews are conducted using Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Regulations and Policy, Contracts and/or Cooperative Agreements between OKDHS and various District Attorneys (DA) and private contractors, State Statutes and requirements in the following USC and CFR:

The purpose of the review is to identify for OKDHS management, CSS management and District Child Support Office management the areas in which the district office did not comply with Federal Program Standards. The resulting review should be used as a management tool to determine how limited resources should be applied to achieve the mission and goals of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and Child Support Services.

Audit Methodology through use of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

You may want to review the federal case processing requirements in 45 CFR §302 and 303, and the state self-assessment rules in accordance with 45 CFR §308.   These are listed below as an overview of the requirements and rules.

Case Initiation – Per CFR Title 45 §303.2 – 90% Compliance level

The office must make applications for child support services readily accessible to the public. The office must provide an application on the day a request is made in person or send an application within five (5) working days if requested by mail or phone.

For all cases referred to the office, the office must establish a case record within no more than 20 calendar days of receipt.

Note: The Case Initiation Center now handles applications for the offices.

Case Closure – Per CFR Title 45 §303.11 – 90% Compliance level

The State shall establish a system for case closure. In order to be eligible for closure the case must meet at least one of the 22 closure criteria. In thirteen of the 22 criteria the State must notify the custodial parent in writing 60 calendar days prior to the case being closed. See Closure Code Chart.

Establishment – Per CFR Title 45 §303.4 and §303.5 – 75% Compliance level

Establishment refers to the establishment of a support order, regardless of whether paternity is in question. Within no more than 90 calendar days of locating the alleged parent or non-custodial parent, an order for support must be established or service of process completed to commence proceedings to establish a support order and, if necessary establish paternity, or document unsuccessful attempts to serve process.

Establishment Actions

NCP located within 90 day of the end of the audit period.

The State must serve the putative father or non-custodial parent or document diligent effort to serve within 90 days of locating the person. Therefore, if the person is located within 90 days of the end of the audit period this is considered an action case.

All appropriate locate action.

The State was not able to locate the non-custodial parent or putative father, but they accessed all locate resources. This could be limited to quarterly OESC checks.

Obtained an Order during the audit period.

The State obtained a current support order during the audit period.

Served the NCP within 90 days of being located.  

The State served the NCP within 90 days of locate The State has not yet obtained an order.

Conducted Genetic Testing.

The State has conducted genetic testing and is waiting for the results or waiting on a hearing date outside of the audit period.

Dismissed a pleading.

The State had filed establishment pleadings and later dismissed the action because the putative father was excluded through genetic testing or there is a pending divorce.

Referred the CP for non-cooperation to IV-A.

Referred the CP for non-cooperation to IV-A and the CP’s cooperation is essential for the State to take the next step in establishing a current support order.

Documented diligent efforts to process serve.

The State was unable to serve the NCP or putative father but documented three attempts at three different times of the day to process serve.

Filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the State.

The State filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the State for reimbursement of TANF (usually in divorce proceedings).

Referred the case to the NCP’s residential State (UIFSA).

The State located the NCP in another State and after long arm failed, sent a UIFSA packet to the other State.

Took all appropriate action to establish an Order.

The case does not fall into one of the categories above, but the State had taken all the proper steps to establish a current support order.

Establishment No Actions

No locate activity.

The State did not access any locate sources.

Not all appropriate locate activity.

The State accessed some locate sources, but not all of the locate sources available to the State or, locate sources with the frequency required by Federal Regulation.

Served outside time frames.

The State was able to serve the NCP or putative father, but it was not within 90 days of locate and an order was not established during the audit period.

No activity after locate.

The State had located the NCP or putative father, but did not take any steps to establish a current support order.

Did not document diligent effort to process serve.

The State sent the pleadings certified mail, which were returned unclaimed and the pleadings were not sent out for personal service. Or the pleadings were sent out for personal service but the investigator did not document diligent effort to serve.

Did not refer to IV-A for non-cooperation.

The State did not inform IV-A of the non-cooperation. The CP is not cooperating with the State and the CP’s cooperation is essential to take the next step in establishing an order.

Did not refer to NCP’s residential State.

The State located the NCP or putative father in another State, long arm does not apply or has failed and the State did not send a UIFSA packet to the other State.

Enforcement – Per CFR Title 45 §303.6 – 75% Compliance level

The State must identify non-custodial parents who have failed to comply with a support obligation. The State must take appropriate enforcement action within the following time frames of identifying a delinquency or other support related non-compliance with the order, or the location of the non-custodial parent, whichever occurs later:

  • 30 calendar days if service of process is not necessary;
  • 60 calendar days if service of process is necessary;
  • Complete service of process (or document unsuccessful attempts to serve process in accordance with the State’s guidelines defining diligent effort).

Enforcement refers to an appropriate action taken to compel a delinquent parent to comply with an order. Mandatory enforcement actions are:

  • Income Assignment
  • Federal Tax Offset
  • State Tax Offset
  • Passport Denial

Enforcement Actions

NCP located within 60 days of the end of the audit period.

The State must serve the non-custodial parent or document diligent effort to serve within 60 days of locating the person. Therefore, if the person is located within 60 days of the end of the audit period it is considered an action case.

All appropriate locate action.

The State was not able to locate the non-custodial parent or putative father, but accessed all locate resources. This could be limited to quarterly OESC checks.

Enforced through Income Assignment.

The State identified an employer and sent an income assignment to the employer during the audit period.

Enforced through contempt citation.

The State could not identify an employer, so the State served the NCP with a contempt citation. A hearing was held and there was a finding of fact during the audit period.

Enforced through Payments.

The State received payments. These payments could be through the employer, voluntary payments or payments from another source.

Enforced through FIDM action.

The State received a collection as a result of a FIDM action.

Referred the case to the NCP’s residential State (UIFSA).

The State located the NCP in another State and sent a UIFSA packet to the other State.

Provided the Responding State with requested or new info.

The State provided the Responding State with requested information (e.g. a record of payments). Or the State provided the Responding State with new information (e.g. new locate).

Received a collection as a result of a lien.

The State received a collection as a result of a lien. This could be money from a worker’s compensation lien or money from a lien on real property.

A bench warrant was issued.

The State could not identify an employer. The State served the NCP with a contempt citation. A hearing was held, the NCP failed to appear and a bench warrant for the NCP’s arrest was issued.

License revocation.

The State has served the NCP, a hearing has been held and a determination has been made. The NCP is either placed on probation and is abiding by the terms of probation or the NCP’s licenses have been revoked.

Served NCP within 60 days of locate, identifying delinquency.

The State served the NCP within 60 days of locate or identifying a delinquency. The State has not yet conducted a hearing.

Redirection that resulted in collections.

The State has obtained and served the NCP with an order redirecting payments through the State’s central receipts unit. This action has resulted in payments and no further action is required.

Tax intercept.

The State has exhausted all enforcement techniques allowed under the law and the only technique available is tax intercept. The tax referral results in a collection.

Complying with a Journal Entry after a finding of contempt of court.

The NCP has been found in contempt of court. The court enters a Journal Entry (J.E.) setting current support and reducing judgment to payments. The NCP is making payments in accordance with the Journal Entry.

Referred to IV-A for non-cooperation.

The State referred the CP for non-cooperation to IV-A and the CP’s cooperation is essential for the State to take the next step in enforcing a support order.

Enforced by felony.

The State has filed a felony for failing to provide for a minor child.

Documented diligent effort to process serve.

The State was unable to serve the NCP, but documented three attempts of service at three different times of the day and different days of the week.

Collection from a worker’s compensation settlement.

The State filed a lien in Worker’s Compensation Court. A payment was received as a result of the lien.

Collection as a result of a NOD or annual notice.

The State served the NCP with a notice of delinquency (NOD) or with an annual notice of enforcement. A payment was received as a result of this action.

Referred to the U.S. Attorney.

The State referred the NCP to the U.S. Attorney’s office for prosecution.

All appropriate actions to enforce.

The case does not fall into one of the categories above, but the State had taken all the proper steps to enforce an order.

Enforcement No Action

No locate activity.

The State did not access any locate sources.

Not all appropriate locate activity.

The State accessed some locate sources, but not all of the locate sources available to the State. The State did not access the locate sources with the frequency required by Federal Regulation.

Served outside time frames.

The State was able to serve the NCP, but it was not within 60 days of locate and a hearing was not held during the audit period.

No activity after locate.

The State located the NCP, but did not take any steps to enforce an order.

Did not document diligent effort to process serve.

The State sent the pleadings certified mail, which came back unclaimed. The pleadings were not sent out for personal service. Or, the pleadings were sent out for personal service but the investigator did not document diligent effort to serve.

Not referred for tax offset.

The case meets the criteria for either Federal tax and/or State tax offset, but the case was not referred for offset.

Did not refer to NCP’s residential State.

The State located the NCP in another State and the State did not send a UIFSA packet to the other State.

Did not send important or new information to the other State.

The State failed to provide requested or new information to the other State.

Did not send an Income Assignment (I/A) to a known employer.

The State identified or should have identified an employer for the NCP, but failed to send a notice of income assignment to the employer.

Did not send the license revocation order to DPS.

The NCP was placed on probation. The NCP has failed to abide by the terms of probation and the office failed to send the order revoking the NCP’s driver’s license to the Department of Public Safety.

Did not refer to IV-A for non-cooperation.

The CP is not cooperating with the State and the CP’s cooperation is essential to take the next step in enforcing an order and the State did not inform IV-A of the non-cooperation.

Did not take all the appropriate actions to enforce.

The case does not fall into one of the categories above, but the State had not taken all the proper steps to enforce an order.

Medical Enforcement – Per CFR Title 45 §303.30 and §303.31  – 75% Compliance level

Medical enforcement is an ongoing process. The State must petition the court to order health insurance coverage for the child(ren). If ordered, the State must attempt to secure health care coverage information or compel the NCP to enroll the child(ren). Once the information is secured, the State must pass the information on to either third party liability or the custodial parent.

Medical Enforcement Actions

Obtained or attempted to obtain medical information.

The State sent out a medical information questionnaire to the NCP or NCP’s employer in an attempt to obtain health care coverage information; and/or the information came back negative.

Passed the information to CP or OHCA.

The State obtained health care information and passed the information (insurance carrier, policy number, etc.) on to the CP and to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA).

Medical provision in new order.

An order was established at the end of the audit period that contained a provision addressing health care coverage.

Took steps to enforce a medical order.

The State took steps to have the NCP enroll the child(ren) into an available health care plan. (i.e. send order to the insurance company, contempt of court)

Cash Medical.

The State is collecting cash medical payments as ordered; until insurance is provided per OAC 340:25-5-168(i)(1).

Modified an order to include a medical provision.

The State modified an existing current support order to address health insurance coverage for the child(ren).

Located or all appropriate locate action in a MEO.

In a Medical Enforcement Only (MEO) case, the NCP or putative father was located at the end of the audit period and there was not enough time left to take the next step; Or in a MEO the State took all the appropriate actions in an attempt to locate the NCP or putative father.

All appropriate actions to enforce.

The case does not fall into one of the categories above, but the State has taken all the proper steps to enforce medical.

Medical Enforcement No Actions

New order did not contain a medical provision.

The State established a new order during the audit period that did not contain a health care provision.

Did not attempt to obtain medical information.

The State did not attempt to obtain medical information from the NCP or the NCP’s employer.

Did not take all appropriate action to obtain medical info

The State did attempt to obtain medical information from the NCP but not the NCP’s employer. Or, the State attempted to obtain medical information from the NCP’s employer but not the NCP.

Did not pass medical information to CP or OHCA.

The State obtained health insurance information but did not forward the information to the CP or to OHCA

Did not enforce a medical support order.

The State did not take steps to have the NCP enroll the child(ren) into an available health care plan. (i.e. send order to the insurance company, contempt of court)

Did not establish a medical order.

In a MEO the State did not, after locating the NCP, take steps to establish paternity and/or a medical support order.

Did not access all appropriate locate sources in a MEO.

In a MEO the State did not take all the appropriate actions in an attempt to locate the NCP or putative father.

Did not modify an order to include a medical provision.

The State did not modify an existing current support order to address health insurance coverage for the child(ren).

Did not take all the appropriate actions to enforce.

The case does not fall into one of the categories above, but the State did not take all the proper steps to enforce medical.

Review and Adjust – Per CFR Title 45 §303.8 – 75% Compliance level

The State must review the support award amount for conformity with State guidelines at the request of one of the parties to the order.

Review And Adjustment Actions

Started the process within the required time-frames.

The State started the process within the required time frames after a request for review was received.

Conducted the review (no adjustment).

                The State reviewed the child support award amount; the change in the award amount did not meet the state’s 20% benchmark for adjustment.

Modified order to bring into compliance with guidelines.

The State reviewed the child support award amount; the change in the award amount met the state’s 20% benchmark for adjustment and the order was modified to bring the award amount into compliance with the state’s guidelines.

Review And Adjustment No Actions

Did not start the review process on an eligible case.

The State did not initiate the review process on a case that was due for review within the required time frame. Cases must be reviewed every three years.

Did not complete review within the required time-frames.

The State started the process, but the review was not completed within 180 days.

Incorrect Review Action

The State did not review the obligation sequence containing child support. The State did not correctly identify evaluation criteria.

No review action

The State did not initiate a review of the case.

Intergovernmental Services – Per CFR Title 45 §303.7 – 75% Compliance level

Intergovernmental cases are reviewed for the appropriate child support services needed and, in addition, the case is reviewed separately for any intergovernmental time frames that applied during the audit period.

Intergovernmental Services Actions

Referral to the Responding State.

The State sent a UIFSA to the NCP’s residing State.

Provided requested information to Responding State within 30 days.

The Responding State requested information from this State and the State provided the requested information within 30 days.

Passed new information to Responding State within 10 days.

This State acquired new information in the case and passed that information to the Responding State within 10 days.

Responded to status request from Initiating State within 5 days.

The Initiating State sent this State a status request and the State responded to the request within 5 days.

Provided requested information to Initiating State within 30 days

The Initiating State requested information from this State and the State provided the requested information within 30 days.

Passed new information to Initiating State within 10 days

This State acquired new information on the case and passed that information to the Initiating State within 10 days.

All appropriate actions to enforce.

The case does not fall into one of the categories above, but the State took all the proper steps to enforce intergovernmental services.

Intergovernmental Services No Actions

Did not make a referral to the Responding State

The NCP was located in another State and the State did not send a UIFSA to the NCP’s residing State.

Did not provide requested information to Responding State within 30 days

The Responding State requested information from this State and the State did not provided the requested information within 30 days.

Did not Pass new information to Responding State within 10 days

This State acquired new information in the cases and did not pass that information on the Responding State within 10 days.

Did not respond to status request from Initiating State within 5 days

The Initiating State sent this State a status request and the State did not respond to the request within 5 days.

Did not Provide requested information to Initiating State within 30 days

The Initiating State requested information from this State and the State did not provide the requested information within 30 days.

Did not Pass new information to Initiating State within 10 days

This State acquired new information in the case and did not pass that information on the Initiating State within 10 days.

Did not take all the appropriate actions to enforce.

The case does not fall into one of the categories above, but the State did not take all the proper steps to enforce interstate services.

Expedited – Per CFR Title 45 §303.101 75% within six months – 90% within a year Compliance level

The expedited process is the measure of elapsed time between the date of service and the date of disposition. This refers only to establishment cases. It does not include enforcement actions.

Disbursements – Per CFR Title 45 §302.33 – 75% Compliance level

The State must distribute a payable collection within no more than two business days after receipt of a support collection from an employer or other source of periodic income.

NOTE: You may also want to review the CS Quest article Performance Measures – What are they and how are they measured?  This article provides a brief overview of key points about performance measures as well as the differences between Performance Measures and Audit.  That article also provides two printable checklists:  Performance Measures Checklist and the Audit Checklist. The PM Checklist provides a brief summary of data required for cases to be counted for each performance measures category and the Audit Checklist outlines the audit categories, their descriptions, and related OSIS screens.