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Library: Policy

340:25-5-67. Information disclosure

Revised 9-15-16

(a) Confidentiality. All applications, information and records concerning any applicant or recipient obtained pursuant to law or as authorized by law by the Department of Human Services or any other public or private entity shall be confidential per Section 183 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes (56 O.S. § 183).  • 1

(1)All files and records concerning the assistance or services provided under the child support program or concerning an alleged father of a child born out of wedlock are confidential per 56 O.S. § 237, except as otherwise authorized by law.

(2) Any information Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Support Services (CSS) obtains from federal or state agencies is subject to limitations on disclosure imposed by laws governing the information received from those agencies.CSS complies with the limitations imposed by federal laws and regulations per Section 653 of Title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. § 653), Section 285.3 of Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations (31 C.F.R. § 285.3), and Internal Revenue Service Publication 1075.  • 2

(3) Nothing in this Section authorizes disclosure of the location or information that may lead to discovery of the location of a case participant with a family violence indicator per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:25-5-67.1.

(4) CSS redacts personal information, including Social Security and driver license numbers, from court documents prior to filing them, pursuant to Rule 31 of the Rules for District Courts of Oklahoma.

(b) Authorized disclosure.Information, when requested per OAC 340:25-5-68, may be shared with:  • 3 & 4

(1) persons duly authorized by the United States in connection with the performance of their official duties per 56 O.S. § 183 including, but not limited to:

(A) exchange of information to the extent necessary to carry out the state agency Title IV-D program responsibilities directly and through statewide automated data processing and information retrieval networks within DHS, with authorized representatives of DHS programs and other state agencies, other states and countries, and federal and tribal agencies;

(B) exchange of information directly and through statewide automated data processing and information retrieval networks with DHS representatives and other state agencies administering programs under Titles IV-A through IV-E, XIX, and XXI of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the U. S. C., and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to the extent necessary to carry out the responsibilities of those agencies;

(C) release of information received from the Federal Parent Locator Service, through the State Parent Locator Service, to an authorized person for an authorized purpose, per 42 U.S.C. § 663 representing:

(i) agencies administering or enforcing programs under Titles IV-B and IV-E of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the U. S. C to the extent necessary to carry out state agency Titles IV-B and IV-E responsibilities; and

(ii) the United States or Oklahoma for purposes of enforcing or prosecuting any federal or state law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child, or any court or agent of such court having jurisdiction to make or enforce a child custody or visitation determination; and  • 5

(D) release of Social Security numbers for child support purposes, such as:

(i) locating the parents;

(ii) submitting cases for federal administrative and income tax refund offset;

(iii) state income tax refund offset;

(iv) financial institution data match;

(v) enrolling children as beneficiaries of health insurance coverage; and

(vi) processing interstate child support services;

(2) parties to a child support case, their attorneys, interpreters, and authorized representatives, who may only access: • 6 & 7

(A) income information, records of payment, and balances;

(B) documents, exhibits, worksheets, and supporting documents filed with the court and any administrative documents that are part of the Order, such as guideline worksheets and financial affidavits;

(C) specific case activity in the course of providing child support enforcement services, such as the number and dates of locate attempts, and establishment and enforcement of child support or medical support orders;

(D) information required by Titles 43 or 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes disclosed for the purpose of enforcing, reviewing, establishing, or modifying a support order or judgment;

(E) information necessary to enroll children as beneficiaries of court-ordered health insurance coverage;

(F) information necessary to access court-ordered health care coverage and obtain health care for the children; and

(G) address of record for service of process per 43 O.S. § 112A.The address of record must only be released per OAC  340:25-5-340.1;

(3) employers and plan administrators, who may only access information necessary to enroll children as beneficiaries of court-ordered health insurance coverage;

(4) persons as directed by court order or by a subpoena approved by a CSSstate's attorney; and  • 8

(5) persons with written authorization from a child support case member to release information. • 3

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:25-5-67

Revised 9-16-19

1. (a) Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) employees or agents do not access or use confidential information or data obtained through the child support program except on a need to know basis in the performance of his or her official duties. This information or data may not be used for personal amusement, curiosity, gain, benefit, or any other reason not directly related to the performance of official duties.

(b) Instances of inappropriate access or misuse of confidential information by:

(1) any DHS employee or agent is reported by DHS Child Support Services (CSS) staff to the employee's or agent's supervisor; and

(2) a DHS agent is reported by CSS supervisors to the agent's supervisor.

(c) DHS employees' and agents' supervisors must take appropriate action, per DHS:2-1-7.

2. CSS staff does not share federal tax information in Microsoft Office 365 applications including, but not limited to, Outlook email, Yammer, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Planner.

3. Release of information.

(1) CSS releases written child support payment information to housing authorities and other entities upon written authorization of the custodial person (CP) or noncustodial parent (NCP). District offices may coordinate this release of information to housing authorities with the CSS Center for Customer Service.

(2) CSS releases information to Child Welfare Services (CWS) staff to facilitate the location of any individual who has, or may have parental rights with respect to a child, and may be a potential placement for the child. To assist CWS staff in carrying out child welfare responsibilities under Titles IV-B and IV-E programs, CSS staff provides the information in (A) through (F) of this paragraph. The NCP's, alleged father's, CP's, or child's:

(A) name;

(B) Social Security number;

(C) address;

(D) employer's name, address, and identification (ID) number;

(E) employment income and benefits, including health care coverage; and

(F) type, status, location, and amount of assets or debts owed by or to the individual.

(3) CSS does not release Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information unless CSS obtained the information from another source. CSS limits disclosure of Federal Tax Information (FTI) per (A) through (D) of this paragraph.

(A) Per IRS Publication 1075, limited information may be disclosed to CSS agents or contractors for the purpose of, and to the extent necessary in, establishing and collecting child support obligations from, and locating individuals owing such obligations. The information disclosure is limited to the:

(i) address;

(ii) individual's Social Security number against whom CSS is seeking to establish or enforce child support obligations; and

(iii) amount offset from any tax refund otherwise payable to such individual, per IRS Code Section 6402(c).

(B) When handling caseworker questions from other DHS offices or programs, CSS cannot specifically identify information about FTI. In response to an inquiry, staff may disclose the payment amount as a:

(i) non-regular payment from a non-wage source; or

(ii) one-time lump-sum payment.

(C) CSS is permitted to inform a CP, his or her authorized representative, or attorney that CSS received a federal income tax refund offset and the payment amount. CSS cannot provide the NCP's address, wage data, or other FTI provided by the IRS.

(D) CSS is permitted to confirm to the NCP taxpayer or the NCP's spouse and/or joint filer that CSS received a federal income tax refund offset.

(4) CSS may release Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) information as to the amount and source of payment, such as a bank levy. CSS cannot disclose specific account information or details, such as the name of the bank.

(5) CSS releases information to entities, such as:

(A) agents administering the Welfare-to-Work Program;

(B) personnel in the juvenile court system, in order to assist with administering Titles IV-B and IV-E programs;

(C) law enforcement personnel prosecuting federal and state child support enforcement crimes, parental kidnapping, and statutory rape; and

(D) staff administering Title IV-A programs.

(6) CSS does not release information to law enforcement personnel prosecuting crimes unrelated to the provision of Title IV-D services, per Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:25-1-1.2.

(7) CSS staff releases only information the case member is entitled to receive, limited to the information requested in the disclosure form. When CSS staff questions the authenticity of a disclosure form, staff verifies with the authorizing case member before releasing information.

  4. CSS staff may release general information that benefits were paid on behalf of the children to establish the fact that amounts are due to the state, that CSS is a necessary party, or that the case cannot be closed because benefits are being expended. When benefit information is contested, CSS state's attorneys may release information regarding the payment amount and dates of benefits paid on behalf of the children to the court per Section237(H) of Title 56  of the Oklahoma Statutes. CSS state's attorneys release information only to the extent necessary to establish amounts owed to the state.

 5. Parent Locator Service.

(1) When a Child Protective Service Alert (CPSA or PSA) indicator appears during a search for history on a family in the KIDS or IMS system, as a PSA case type in KIDS and a CPSA designation in IMS on a CWS case, CSS staff releases locate information to DHS CWS at 405-521-3777.

(2) When CWS staff requests Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) information from CSS, CWS staff must submit a request to the State Parent Locator Service (SPLS) to the CSS Center for Coordinated Programs. For example, CWS staff may request locate information from SPLS to locate a non-parent for researching a possible placement for a deprived child.

(A) CSS staff directs authorized persons requesting FPLS information to submit requests to the SPLS.

(B) The SPLS provides the information to the requester in person or by email, phone, or letter rather than through the automated system.

(3) For further information concerning release of FPLS information, refer to the:

(A) Federal Register, Volume 69, Number 148, dated August 3, 2004;

(B) Federal Register, Volume 63, Number 162, dated August 21, 1998; and

(C) federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) Action Transmittal AT-03-06, available from the OCSE website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pol/AT/2003/at-03-06.htm.

6. When a party to a child support case is represented by an attorney, per the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct, Chapter 1, Appendix 3-A of Title 5 of the Oklahoma Statutes, CSS staff may not discuss the case with the party without the attorney's permission. When a represented party contacts CSS for information and CSS has not received the attorney's permission to communicate with the party, CSS may only release case information available in CSS records, including the:

(1) date and location of the next court hearing;

(2) status of service of process of pleadings on the other party in actions initiated by CSS; and

(3) child support payment information and arrearage balance information.

7. When a party who appears in the record to be represented by counsel claims to be unrepresented, CSS initiates contact with the attorney to confirm the status of the representation.

8. A subpoena is not a court order requiring automatic release of information. CSS state's attorneys review court orders and subpoenas before CSS releases information as directed by a court order or subpoena.

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