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Executive Order 12953

Issued by William J. Clinton on Monday 27 February 1995

Actions Required of all Executive Agencies To Facilitate Payment of Child Support

Federal Register, Volume 60 Issue 39 (Tuesday, February 28, 1995)

[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 39 (Tuesday, February 28, 1995)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 11013-11016]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-5146]

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 60, No. 39 / Tuesday, February 28, 1995 / 
Presidential Documents 
[[Page 11013]] 
                Executive Order 12953 of February 27, 1995

Actions Required of all Executive Agencies To 
                Facilitate Payment of Child Support

                Children need and deserve the emotional and financial 
                support of both their parents.

                The Federal Government requires States and, through 
                them, public and private employers to take actions 
                necessary to ensure that monies in payment of child 
                support obligations are withheld and transferred to the 
                child's caretaker in an efficient and expeditious 

                The Federal Government, through its civilian employees 
                and Uniformed Services members, is the Nation's largest 
                single employer and as such should set an example of 
                leadership and encouragement in ensuring that all 
                children are properly supported.

                NOW, THEREFORE, by the authority vested in me as 
                President by the Constitution and the laws of the 
                United States of America, including section 301 of 
                title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as 

                    PART I--PURPOSE

                Section 101. This executive order: (a) Establishes the 
                executive branch of the Federal Government, through its 
                civilian employees and Uniformed Services members, as a 
                model employer in promoting and facilitating the 
                establishment and enforcement of child support.

                    (b) Requires all Federal agencies, including the 
                Uniformed Services, to cooperate fully in efforts to 
                establish paternity and child support orders and to 
                enforce the collection of child and medical support in 
                all situations where such actions may be required.
                    (c) Requires each Federal agency, including the 
                Uniformed Services, to provide information to its 
                employees and members about actions that they should 
                take and services that are available to ensure that 
                their children are provided the support to which they 
                are legally entitled.

                    PART 2--DEFINITIONS

                For purposes of this order:

                Sec. 201. ``Federal agency'' means any authority as 
                defined at 5 U.S.C. 105, including the Uniformed 
                Services, as defined in section 202 of this order.

                Sec. 202. ``Uniformed Services'' means the Army, Navy, 
                Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the 
                Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration, and the Public Health 

                Sec. 203. ``Child support enforcement'' means any 
                administrative or judicial action by a court or 
                administrative entity of a State necessary to establish 
                paternity or establish a child support order, including 
                a medical support order, and any actions necessary to 
                enforce a child support or medical support order. Child 
                support actions may be brought under the civil or 
                criminal laws of a State and are not limited to actions 
                brought on behalf of the State or individual by State 
                agencies providing services under title IV-D of the 
                Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.

                Sec. 204. ``State'' means any of the fifty States, the 
                District of Columbia, the territories, the possessions, 
                and the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and of the Mariana 

                     [[Page 11014]] PART 3--IMMEDIATE ACTIONS TO ENSURE 

                Sec. 301. Wage Withholding. (a) Within 60 days from the 
                date of this order, every Federal agency shall review 
                its procedures for wage withholding under 42 U.S.C. 659 
                and implementing regulations to ensure that it is in 
                full compliance with the requirements of that section, 
                and shall endeavor, to the extent feasible, to process 
                wage withholding actions consistent with the 
                requirements of 42 U.S.C. 666(b).

                    (b) Beginning no later than July 1, 1995, the 
                Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) 
                shall publish annually in the Federal Register the list 
                of agents (and their addresses) designated to receive 
                service of withholding notices for Federal employees.

                Sec. 302. Service of Legal Process. Every Federal 
                agency shall assist in the service of legal process in 
                civil actions pursuant to orders of courts of States to 
                establish paternity and establish or enforce a support 
                obligation by making Federal employees and members of 
                the Uniformed Services stationed outside the United 
                States available for the service of process. Each 
                agency shall designate an official who shall be 
                responsible for facilitating a Federal employee's or 
                member's availability for service of process, 
                regardless of the location of the employee's workplace 
                or member's duty station. The OPM shall publish a list 
                of these officials annually in the Federal Register, 
                beginning no later than July 1, 1995.

                Sec. 303. Federal Parent Locator. Every Federal agency 
                shall cooperate with the Federal Parent Locator 
                Service, established under 42 U.S.C. 653, by providing 
                complete, timely and accurate information that will 
                assist in locating noncustodial parents and their 

                Sec. 304. Crossmatch for Delinquent Obligors. (a) The 
                master file of delinquent obligors that each State 
                child support enforcement agency submits to the 
                Internal Revenue Service for Federal income tax refund 
                offset purposes shall be matched at least annually with 
                the payroll or personnel files of Federal agencies in 
                order to determine if there are any Federal employees 
                with child support delinquencies. The list of matches 
                shall be forwarded to the appropriate State child 
                support enforcement agency to determine, in each 
                instance, whether wage withholding or other enforcement 
                actions should be commenced. All matches will be 
                performed in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(o)-(u).

                    (b) All Federal agencies shall inform current and 
                prospective employees that crossmatches are routinely 
                made between Federal personnel records and State 
                records on individuals who owe child support, and 
                inform employees how to initiate voluntary wage 
                withholding requests.

                Sec. 305. Availability of Service. All Federal agencies 
                shall advise current and prospective employees of 
                services authorized under title IV-D of the Social 
                Security Act that are available through the States. At 
                a minimum, information shall be provided annually to 
                current employees through the Employee Assistance 
                Program, or similar programs, and to new employees 
                during routine orientation.

                Sec. 306. Report on Actions Taken. Within 90 days of 
                the date of this order, all Federal agencies shall 
                report to the Director of the Office of Management and 
                Budget (OMB) on the actions they have taken to comply 
                with this order and any statutory, regulatory, and 
                administrative barriers that hinder them from complying 
                with the requirements of part 3 of this order.

                    PART 4--ADDITIONAL ACTIONS

                Sec. 401. Additional Review for the Uniformed Services. 
                (a) In addition to the requirements outlined above, the 
                Secretary of the Department of Defense (DOD) will chair 
                a task force, with participation by the Department of 
                Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of 
                Commerce, and the Department of Transportation, that 
                shall conduct a full review of current policies and 
                practices within the Uniformed Services to ensure that 
                children [[Page 11015]] of Uniformed Services personnel 
                are provided financial and medical support in the same 
                manner and within the same time frames as is mandated 
                for all other children due such support. This review 
                shall include, but not be limited to, issues related to 
                withholding non-custodial parents' wages, service of 
                legal process, activities to locate parents and their 
                income and assets, release time to attend civil 
                paternity and support proceedings, and health insurance 
                coverage under the Civilian Health and Medical Program 
                of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS). All relevant 
                existing statutes, including the Soldiers and Sailors 
                Civil Relief Act of 1940, the Uniformed Services Former 
                Spouses Protection Act, and the Tax Equity and Fiscal 
                Responsibility Act of 1982, shall be reviewed and 
                appropriate legislative modifications shall be 

                    (b) Within 180 days of the date of this order, DOD 
                shall submit to OMB a report based on this review. The 
                report shall recommend additional policy, regulatory 
                and legislative changes that would improve and enhance 
                the Federal Government's commitment to ensuring 
                parental support for all children.

                Sec. 402. Additional Federal Agency Actions. (a) OPM 
                and HHS shall jointly study and prepare recommendations 
                concerning additional administrative, regulatory, and 
                legislative improvements in the policies and procedures 
                of Federal agencies affecting child support 
                enforcement. Other agencies shall be included in the 
                development of recommendations for specific items as 
                appropriate. The recommendations shall address, among 
                other things:

                    (i) any changes that would be needed to ensure that 
                Federal employees comply with child support orders that 
                require them to provide health insurance coverage for 
                their children;
                    (ii) changes needed to ensure that more accurate 
                and up-to-date data about civilian and uniformed 
                personnel who are being sought in conjunction with 
                State paternity or child support actions can be 
                obtained from Federal agencies and their payroll and 
                personnel records, to improve efforts to locate 
                noncustodial parents and their income and assets;
                    (iii) changes needed for selecting Federal agencies 
                to test and evaluate new approaches to the 
                establishment and enforcement of child support 
                    (iv) proposals to improve service of process for 
                civilian employees and members of the Uniformed 
                Services stationed outside the United States, including 
                the possibility of serving process by certified mail in 
                establishment and enforcement cases or of designating 
                an agent for service of process that would have the 
                same effect and bind employees to the same extent as 
                actual service upon the employees;
                    (v) strategies to facilitate compliance with 
                Federal and State child support requirements by quasi-
                governmental agencies, advisory groups, and 
                commissions; and
                    (vi) analysis of whether compliance with support 
                orders should be a factor used in defining suitability 
                for Federal employment.
                    (b) The recommendations are due within 180 days of 
                the date of this order. The recommendations are to be 
                submitted in writing to the Office of Management and 

                Sec. 501. Internal Management. This order is intended 
                only to improve the internal management of the 
                executive branch with regard to child support 
                enforcement and shall not be interpreted to create any 
                right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
                enforceable at law by a party against the United 
                States, its officers, or any other person.

                Sec. 502.  Sovereignty of the United States Government. 
                This order is intended only to provide that the Federal 
                Government has elected to require Federal agencies to 
                adhere to the same standards as are applicable to all 
                other employers in the Nation and shall not be 
                interpreted as subjecting the Federal Government to any 
                State law or requirement. This order should not be 
                construed as a waiver of the sovereign immunity of the 
                United [[Page 11016]] States Government or of any 
                existing statutory or regulatory provisions, including 
                42 U.S.C. 659, 662, and 665; 5 CFR Part 581; 42 CFR 
                Part 21, Subpart C; 32 CFR Part 54; and 32 CFR Part 81.

                 Sec. 503. Defense and Security.

                This order is not intended to require any action that 
                would compromise the defense or national security 
                interest of the United States.

                    (Presidential Sig.)>

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    February 27, 1995.

[FR Doc. 95-5146
Filed 2-27-95; 11:23 am]
Billing code 3195-01-P

Citation: 60 FR 11013

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