ACTS automatically interfaces with a number of other systems and generates numerous documents to assist in the Locate process. This topic contains information on the following subjects:
ACTS submits noncustodial parents (NCPs) to each automated source whenever it has the necessary data for the submittal. (EX: In order for ACTS to submit an NCP to the Division of Employment Security interface, that NCP must have a Social Security number entered in ACTS.) Also, NCPs might need to meet other criteria for submittal.
NCPs are submitted to the automated Locate sources on a regular basis, and they are resubmitted if no response is received within ten (10) days. (EX: A source to which the NCP was submitted returns that NCP's record, even if no new information is found. If the source fails to return that NCP's record, the system interprets this as no response.)
NCPs are also resubmitted every ninety (90) days until they no longer meet the submittal criteria (or the case is closed.) The exception is the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS), which is a one-time submittal that occurs each time an NCP's case enters the Locate Processing Status.
The criteria for submitting an NCP to an interface vary depending on the interface.
EX: An NCP is submitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if:
An NCP is submitted to the Department of Revenue (DOR) if:
Each time an automated submittal is made to one of the interfaces during nightly batch processing, ACTS documents the submittal in the case history record.
When information is discovered through an automated interface, ACTS records that information on the appropriate screens and enters a “disposition”. (These dispositions document the result of the submittal.) ACTS notifies the responsible caseworker of the source of the Locate information. Caseworkers can then review the information that was returned by the automated interface.
If an automated submittal returns multiple possible matches (also called "multiple hits"), ACTS notifies all caseworkers whose caseloads contain the noncustodial parent (NCP) who is being located.
When caseworkers are notified of multiple matches, they can access the appropriate on-line Locate source (DMV, DOC, IDEC, or Wildlife Commission) to determine which of the multiple matches contains correct information. The correct information is then recorded in ACTS.
NOTE: A case is not taken out of the Locate Processing Status until an address or employer is found by the automated submittal and the disposition is entered in ACTS.
When address or employment information is returned from an automated source and ACTS creates a new address or employment record, it also automatically generates verification letters. When multiple CSS caseworkers have the missing noncustodial parent (NCP) as a participant in their cases, ACTS searches its database and selects the first case with that NCP as a participant. The verification letters that ACTS generates specify the responsible caseworker for the selected case as the addressee for any response. The responsible caseworker who receives the response must enter the data from the verification letter(s) into ACTS.
When an automated interface returns address information that does not match any of the noncustodial parent’s (NCP’s) existing address records, ACTS creates a new potential address record for the NCP. This address is standardized through a software program used for addresses that are recorded in ACTS. ACTS notifies the responsible caseworker of the address data has been returned, of the source of the address data, and that the address requires verification.
When caseworkers are notified, they verify the address by submitting a Postmaster Verification Request (DSS-4466). When caseworkers receive verification of the address data, they can record it as a current address in ACTS.
When caseworkers discover address data by manually accessing an online Locate source (or through other methods), they can create an address record manually in ACTS and verify the address using the DSS-4466 document.
When an automated interface (other than IDEC and FPLS) returns employment information that does not match any of the noncustodial parent’s (NCP's) existing employment records, ACTS creates a new employment record for the NCP. If the employment data that is returned matches a current employment record with no work end date shown, a new record is NOT created. (The system assumes that the NCP has worked for that same employer without interruption.)
If the employment data from the interface matches a current employment record with a work end date shown, ACTS compares the end date of the old record with the start date of the new record (which is the date of the interface match). If the old end date is prior to the new start date, ACTS creates a new employment record. (Even if the NCP is returning to a previous employer, the system considers this to be new employment.)
After creating the new employment record, ACTS generates an Employer Verification Letter (DSS-4685) at the State Print Shop in Raleigh. The system also reminds the responsible CSS caseworker to verify whether or not the employer has responded to this letter thirty (30) days later.
NOTE: When ACTS receives employment data from IDEC or FPLS, it does not create a new employment record or generate verification letters, but it does notify the responsible CSS caseworker of the data that was received.
When CSS caseworkers discover employment data by manually accessing an automated interface online or when they receive notification from IDEC or FPLS, they must manually create a new employment record.
If the new employment record is confirmed without a verification date and source, ACTS generates an Employment Letter (DSS-4685) at the responsible caseworker's local CSS office. The system also reminds the responsible caseworker to verify whether or not the employer has responded to this letter thirty (30) days later. Caseworkers can also manually generate an Employer Letter (DSS-4685).
When an interface matches on a Social Security number (SSN) but returns a different name than the one currently recorded for a participant in ACTS, the system records the returned name as an "ALIAS". ACTS notifies the responsible caseworker of the alias name and the source of the name. Caseworkers can then determine whether or not the returned name record should remain an alias or be changed to the "primary" name.
If the interface returns name data from FPLS, the system does not create a name record. ACTS notifies the responsible CSS caseworker of the returned name data. If appropriate, caseworkers can then manually create a name record in ACTS.
When the interface returns any other type of data from an automated source, the system can record it in ACTS (if no data already is present in the appropriate fields). Existing data in ACTS is NOT changed or updated, but the system might notify the responsible caseworker that other data has been found.
When employer information without an EIN # is returned from an automated interface, ACTS notifies the responsible caseworkers. (Employment data from the automated interfaces with IDEC and FPLS is always sent without an EIN #.)
All employers that do business in North Carolina are required to have a State EIN #. Employers use this number to report wage information to the Division of Employment Security (DES) each quarter. Caseworkers can get this number from the noncustodial parent’s (NCP's) DES record (if the NCP has worked for the employer long enough to have wages on file with DES) or from the employer.
When contacting employers to obtain information, caseworkers should inform employers that the State EIN # is the identification number that is used when filing the NCUI 101 (Employers Quarterly Tax and Wage Report).
In order to hasten responses, caseworkers should also try to direct all communications to the employer's payroll department (or to the person/entity that does the company's payroll.)
NOTE: If the employer uses a payroll service and that service's address is the only one available, caseworkers generate a Letter To Payroll Company (DSS-4549) and send it to the payroll service, requesting the employer's address. When caseworkers receive this address data, they can send it to the CSS Central Office so that it can be added to the ACTS Third-Party Table.
Caseworkers should search the ACTS Third-Party Table (TPT) to see if the employer is already there. If caseworkers obtain an EIN # that is not listed in the TPT, they should complete a request that the employer be added to the TPT and send it to the ACTS Help Desk.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.