Article 3. Director Of Child Support Services of California Family Law Code >> Division 17. >> Chapter 1. >> Article 3.
With the consent of the Senate, the Governor shall appoint,
to serve at his or her pleasure, an executive officer who shall be
director of the department. In making the appointment the Governor
shall consider training, demonstrated ability, experience, and
leadership in organized child support enforcement administration. The
director shall receive the salary provided for by Chapter 6
(commencing with Section 11550), Part 1, Division 3, Title 2 of the
The Governor also may appoint, to serve at his or her pleasure,
not to exceed two chief deputy directors of the department, and one
deputy director of the department. The salaries of the chief deputy
directors and the deputy director shall be fixed in accordance with
The director shall do all of the following:
(a) Be responsible for the management of the department.
(b) Administer all federal and state laws and regulations
pertaining to the administration of child support enforcement
(c) Perform all duties as may be prescribed by law, and any other
administrative and executive duties imposed by law.
(d) Observe, and report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the
public on, the conditions of child support enforcement activities
throughout the state pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 17602.
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act, contained in
Part D (commencing with Section 651) of Subchapter 4 of Chapter 7 of
Title 42 of the United States Code, requires that there be a single
state agency for child support enforcement. California's child
support enforcement system is extremely complex, involving numerous
state and local agencies. The state's system was divided between the
State Department of Social Services, the Attorney General's office,
the Franchise Tax Board, the Employment Development Department, the
Department of Motor Vehicles, and the 58 county district attorneys'
(b) The lack of coordination and integration between state and
local child support agencies has been a major impediment to getting
support to the children of this state. An effective child support
enforcement program must have strong leadership and effective state
oversight and management to best serve the needs of the children of
(c) The state would benefit by centralizing its obligation to hold
counties responsible for collecting support. Oversight would be best
accomplished by direct management by the state.
(d) A single state agency for child support enforcement with
strong leadership and direct accountability for local child support
agencies will benefit the taxpayers of the state by reducing the
inefficiencies introduced by involving multiple layers of government
in child support enforcement operations.
To address the concerns stated by the Legislature in Section
17303, each county shall establish a new county department of child
support services. Each department is also referred to in this
division as the local child support agency. The local child support
agency shall be separate and independent from any other county
department and shall be responsible for promptly and effectively
establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support obligations,
including medical support, enforcing spousal support orders
established by a court of competent jurisdiction, and determining
paternity in the case of a child born out of wedlock. The local child
support agency shall refer all cases requiring criminal enforcement
services to the district attorney and the district attorney shall
prosecute those cases, as appropriate. If a district attorney fails
to comply with this section, the director shall notify the Attorney
General and the Attorney General shall take appropriate action to
secure compliance. The director shall be responsible for implementing
and administering all aspects of the state plan that direct the
functions to be performed by the local child support agencies
relating to their Title IV-D operations. In developing the new
system, all of the following shall apply:
(a) The director shall negotiate and enter into cooperative
agreements with county and state agencies to carry out the
requirements of the state plan and provide services relating to the
establishment of paternity or the establishment, modification, or
enforcement of child support obligations as required pursuant to
Section 654 of Title 42 of the United States Code. The cooperative
agreements shall require that the local child support agencies are
reasonably accessible to the citizens of each county and are visible
and accountable to the public for their activities. The director, in
consultation with the impacted counties, may consolidate the local
child support agencies, or any function of the agencies, in more than
one county into a single local child support agency, if the director
determines that the consolidation will increase the efficiency of
the state Title IV-D program and each county has at least one local
child support office accessible to the public.
(b) The director shall have direct oversight and supervision of
the Title IV-D operations of the local child support agency, and no
other local or state agency shall have any authority over the local
child support agency as to any function relating to its Title IV-D
operations. The local child support agency shall be responsible for
the performance of child support enforcement activities required by
law and regulation in a manner prescribed by the department. The
administrator of the local child support agency shall be responsible
for reporting to and responding to the director on all aspects of the
child support program.
(c) Nothing in this section prohibits the local child support
agency, with the prior approval of the director, from entering into
cooperative arrangements with other county departments, as necessary
to carry out the responsibilities imposed by this section pursuant to
plans of cooperation submitted to the department and approved by the
director. The local child support agency may not enter into a
cooperative agreement or contract with any county department or
independently elected official, including the office of the district
attorney, to run, supervise, manage, or oversee the Title IV-D
functions of the local child support agency. Until September 1, 2004,
the local child support agency may enter into a cooperative
agreement or contract of restricted scope and duration with a
district attorney to utilize individual attorneys as necessary to
carry out limited attorney services. Any cooperative agreement or
contract for the attorney services shall be subject to approval by
the department and contingent upon a written finding by the
department that either the relatively small size of the local child
support agency program, or other serious programmatic needs, arising
as a result of the transition make it most efficient and
cost-effective to contract for limited attorney services. The
department shall ensure that any cooperative agreement or contract
for attorney services provides that all attorneys be supervised by,
and report directly to, the local child support agency, and comply
with all state and federal child support laws and regulations. The
office of the Legislative Analyst shall review and assess the
efficiency and effectiveness of that cooperative agreement or
contract, and shall report its findings to the Legislature by January
1, 2004. Within 60 days of receipt of a plan of cooperation or
contract from the local child support agency, the department shall
either approve the plan of cooperation or contract or notify the
agency that the plan is denied. If an agency is notified that the
plan is denied, the agency shall have the opportunity to resubmit a
revised plan of cooperation or contract. If the director fails to
respond in writing within 60 days of receipt, the plan shall
otherwise be deemed approved. Nothing in this section shall be deemed
an approval of program costs relative to the cooperative
arrangements entered into by the counties with other county
(d) In order to minimize the disruption of services provided and
to capitalize on the expertise of employees, the director shall
create a program that builds on existing staff and facilities to the
fullest extent possible. All assets of the family support division in
the district attorney's office shall become assets of the local
child support agency.
(e) (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), all employees
and other personnel who serve the office of the district attorney and
perform child support collection and enforcement activities shall
become the employees and other personnel of the county child support
agency at their existing or equivalent classifications, and at their
existing salaries and benefits that include, but are not limited to,
accrued and unused vacation, sick leave, personal leave, and health
and pension plans.
(B) The Title IV-D director is entitled to become an employee of
the local child support agency or may be selected as the
administrator pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (f).
(2) Permanent employees of the office of the district attorney on
the effective date of this chapter shall be deemed qualified, and no
other qualifications shall be required for employment or retention in
the county child support agency. Probationary employees on the
effective date of this chapter shall retain their probationary status
and rights, and shall not be deemed to have transferred, so as to
require serving a new probationary period.
(3) Employment seniority of an employee of the office of the
district attorney on the effective date of this chapter shall be
counted toward seniority in the county child support agency and all
time spent in the same, equivalent, or higher classification shall be
counted toward classification seniority.
(4) An employee organization that has been recognized as the
representative or exclusive representative of an established
appropriate bargaining unit of employees who perform child support
collection and enforcement activities shall continue to be recognized
as the representative or exclusive representative of the same
employees of the county.
(5) An existing memorandum of understanding or agreement between
the county or the office of the district attorney and the employee
organization shall remain in effect and be fully binding on the
parties involved for the term of the agreement.
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the rights
of employees or employee organizations to bargain in good faith on
matters of wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment,
including the negotiation of workplace standards within the scope of
bargaining as authorized by state and federal law.
(7) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a public agency
shall, in implementing programs affected by the act of addition or
amendment of this chapter to this code, perform program functions
exclusively through the use of merit civil service employees of the
(B) Prior to transition from the district attorney to the local
child support agency under Section 17305, the district attorney may
continue existing contracts and their renewals, as appropriate. After
the transition under Section 17305, any contracting out of program
functions shall be approved by the director consistent with Section
31000 and following of the Government Code, except as otherwise
provided in subdivision (c) with regard to attorney services. The
director shall approve or disapprove a proposal to contract out
within 60 days. Failure of the director to respond to a request to
contract out within 60 days after receipt of the request shall be
deemed approval, unless the director submits an extension to respond,
which in no event shall be longer than 30 days.
(f) The administrator of the local child support agency shall be
an employee of the county selected by the board of supervisors, or in
the case of a city and county, selected by the mayor, pursuant to
the qualifications established by the department. The administrator
may hire staff, including attorneys, to fulfill the functions
required by the agency and in conformity with any staffing
requirements adopted by the department, including all those set forth
in Section 17306. All staff shall be employees of the county and
shall comply with all local, state, and federal child support laws,
regulations, and directives.
(a) In order to achieve an orderly and timely transition to
the new system with minimal disruption of services, the director
shall begin the transition from the office of the district attorney
to the local child support agencies pursuant to Section 17304,
commencing January 1, 2001. The director shall transfer the
appropriate number of counties, equaling at least 50 percent of the
statewide caseload into the new system by January 1, 2002. The
transition shall be completed by January 1, 2003. A county that has
appointed an administrator for the local child support agency and has
complied with the requirements of subdivision (b) may transition
prior to January 1, 2001, subject to the approval of the director. In
determining the order in which counties will be transferred from the
office of the district attorney to the local child support agencies,
the director shall do all of the following:
(1) Consider the performance of the counties in establishing and
collecting child support.
(2) Minimize the disruption of the services provided by the
(3) Optimize the chances of a successful transition.
(b) In order to achieve an orderly transition with minimal
disruption of services, a county shall submit a plan of transition
which shall be approved by the department prior to transition.
(c) The director shall consult with the district attorney to
achieve an orderly transition and to minimize the disruption of
services. Each district attorney shall cooperate in the transition as
requested by the director.
(d) To minimize any disruption of services provided under the
child support enforcement program during the transition, each
district attorney shall:
(1) Continue to be designated the single organizational unit whose
duty it shall be to administer the Title IV-D state plan for
securing child and spousal support, medical support, and determining
paternity for that county until such time as the county is notified
by the director that the county has been transferred pursuant to
subdivision (a) or sooner under Section 17602.
(2) At a minimum, maintain all levels of funding, staffing, and
services as of January 1, 1999, to administer the Title IV-D state
plan for securing child and spousal support, medical support, and
determining paternity. If the director determines that a district
attorney has lowered the funding, staffing, or services of the child
support enforcement program, the director may withhold part or all
state and federal funds, including incentive funds, from the district
attorney. Before the director withholds part of or all state and
federal funds, including incentive funds, the district attorney shall
have the opportunity to demonstrate good cause for any reductions in
funding, staffing, or services. Good cause exceptions for reductions
shall include, but not be limited to, natural staff attrition and
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) While the State Department of Social Services has had
statutory authority over the child support system, the locally
elected district attorneys have operated their county programs with a
great deal of autonomy.
(2) District attorneys have operated the child support programs
with different forms, procedures and priorities, making it difficult
to adequately evaluate and modify performance statewide.
(3) Problems collecting child support reflect a fundamental lack
of leadership and accountability in the collection program. These
management problems have cost California taxpayers and families
billions of dollars.
(b) The director shall develop uniform forms, policies and
procedures to be employed statewide by all local child support
agencies. Pursuant to this subdivision, the director shall:
(1) Adopt uniform procedures and forms.
(2) Establish standard caseworker to case staffing ratios,
adjusted as appropriate to meet the varying needs of local programs.
(3) Establish standard attorney to caseworker ratios, adjusted as
appropriate to meet the varying needs of local programs.
(4) Institute a consistent statewide policy on the appropriateness
of closing cases to ensure that, without relying solely on federal
minimum requirements, all cases are fully and pragmatically pursued
for collections prior to closing.
(5) Evaluate the best practices for the establishment,
enforcement, and collection of child support, for the purpose of
determining which practices should be implemented statewide in an
effort to improve performance by local child support agencies. In
evaluating the best practices, the director shall review existing
practices in better performing counties within California, as well as
practices implemented by other state Title IV-D programs nationwide.
(6) Evaluate the best practices for the management of effective
child support enforcement operations for the purpose of determining
what management structure should be implemented statewide in an
effort to improve the establishment, enforcement, and collection of
child support by local child support agencies, including an
examination of the need for attorneys in management level positions.
In evaluating the best practices, the director shall review existing
practices in better performing counties within California, as well as
practices implemented by other state Title IV-D programs nationwide.
(7) Set priorities for the use of specific enforcement mechanisms
for use by both the local child support agency and the Franchise Tax
Board. As part of establishing these priorities, the director shall
set forth caseload processing priorities to target enforcement
efforts and services in a way that will maximize collections and
avoid welfare dependency.
(8) Develop uniform training protocols, require periodic training
of all child support staff, and conduct training sessions as
(9) Review and approve annual budgets submitted by the local child
support agencies to ensure each local child support agency operates
an effective and efficient program that complies with all federal and
state laws, regulations, and directives, including the directive to
hire sufficient staff.
(c) The director shall submit any forms intended for use in court
proceedings to the Judicial Council for approval at least six months
prior to the implementation of the use of the forms.
(d) In adopting the forms, policies, and procedures, the director
shall consult with the California Family Support Council, the
California State Association of Counties, labor organizations,
custodial and noncustodial parent advocates, child support
commissioners, family law facilitators, and the appropriate
committees of the Legislature.
(e) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Administrative
Procedure Act, Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1
of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, through December 31,
2007, the department may implement the applicable provisions of this
division through child support services letters or similar
instructions from the director.
The department shall adopt regulations implementing the forms,
policies, and procedures established pursuant to this section. The
director may delay implementation of any of these regulations in any
county for any time as the director deems necessary for the smooth
transition and efficient operation of a local child support agency,
but implementation shall not be delayed beyond the time at which the
transition to the new county department of child support services is
completed. The department may adopt regulations to implement this
division in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The
adoption of any emergency regulation filed with the Office of
Administrative Law on or before December 31, 2007, shall be deemed to
be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the
public peace, health, and safety or general welfare. These emergency
regulations shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the amendments to
paragraph (1) of this subdivision made by Assembly Bill 3032 of the
2001-02 Regular Session shall be retroactive to June 30, 2002.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the
Department of Child Support Services has the authority and discretion
to prevent, correct, or remedy the effects of changes in the timing
of the receipt of child support payments resulting solely from the
initial implementation of the federally required State Disbursement
Unit. This authority shall not be construed to supplant existing
statutory appropriation and technology project approval processes,
limits, and requirements.
(b) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that this section is
declaratory of existing law.
The director shall assume responsibility for implementing
and managing all aspects of a single statewide automated child
support system that will comply with state and federal requirements.
The director may delegate responsibility to, or enter into an
agreement with, any agency or entity that it deems necessary to
satisfy this requirement.
Effective October 1, 1998, the state shall operate a State
Disbursement Unit as required by federal law (42 U.S.C. Secs. 654
(27), 654a(g), and 654b).
(a) An employer who is required to withhold and, by
electronic fund transfer, pay tax pursuant to Section 19011 of the
Revenue and Taxation Code or Section 13021 of the Unemployment
Insurance Code, shall make child support payments to the State
Disbursement Unit by electronic fund transfer. All child support
payments required to be made to the State Disbursement Unit shall be
remitted to the State Disbursement Unit by electronic fund transfer
pursuant to Division 11 (commencing with Section 11101) of the
(b) An employer not required to make payment to the State
Disbursement Unit pursuant to paragraph (a), may elect to make
payment by electronic fund transfer under the following conditions:
(1) The election shall be made in a form, and shall contain
information, as prescribed by the Director of the Department of Child
Support Services, and shall be subject to approval of the
(2) The election may be terminated upon written request to the
Department of Child Support Services.
(c) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Electronic fund transfer" means any transfer of funds, other
than a transaction originated by check, draft, or similar paper
instrument, that is initiated through an electronic terminal,
telephonic instrument, or computer or magnetic tape, so as to order,
instruct, or authorize a financial institution to debit or credit an
account. Electronic fund transfers shall be accomplished by an
automated clearinghouse debit, an automated clearinghouse credit, or
by Federal Reserve Wire Transfer (Fedwire).
(2) "Automated clearinghouse" means any federal reserve bank, or
an organization established in agreement with the National Automated
Clearinghouse Association, that operates as a clearinghouse for
transmitting or receiving entries between banks or bank accounts and
which authorizes an electronic transfer of funds between these banks
or bank accounts.
(3) "Automated clearinghouse debit" means a transaction in which
the state, through its designated depository bank, originates an
automated clearinghouse transaction debiting the person's bank
account and crediting the state's bank account for the amount of tax.
Banking costs incurred for the automated clearinghouse debit
transaction shall be paid by the state.
(4) "Automated clearinghouse credit" means an automated
clearinghouse transaction in which the person through his or her own
bank, originates an entry crediting the state's bank account and
debiting his or her own bank account. Banking costs incurred for the
automated clearinghouse credit transaction charged to the state shall
be paid by the person originating the credit.
(5) "Fedwire transfer" means any transaction originated by a
person and utilizing the national electronic payment system to
transfer funds through the federal reserve banks, when that person
debits his or her own bank account and credits the state's bank
account. Electronic fund transfers pursuant to this section may be
made by Fedwire only if payment cannot, for good cause, be made
according to subdivision (a), and the use of Fedwire is preapproved
by the department. Banking costs incurred for the Fedwire transaction
charged to the person and to the state shall be paid by the person
originating the transaction.
(a) The director shall formulate, adopt, amend, or repeal
regulations and general policies affecting the purposes,
responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the department that are
consistent with law and necessary for the administration of the state
plan for securing child support and enforcing spousal support orders
and determining paternity.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all regulations,
including, but not limited to, regulations of the State Department of
Social Services and the State Department of Health Services,
relating to child support enforcement shall remain in effect and
shall be fully enforceable by the department. The department may
readopt, amend, or repeal the regulations in accordance with Section
17312 as necessary and appropriate.
(a) The Child Support Payment Trust Fund is hereby created
in the State Treasury. The department shall administer the fund.
(b) (1) The state may deposit child support payments received by
the State Disbursement Unit, including those amounts that result in
overpayment of child support, into the Child Support Payment Trust
Fund, for the purpose of processing and providing child support
payments. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, the
fund is continuously appropriated for the purposes of disbursing
child support payments from the State Disbursement Unit.
(2) The state share of the interest and other earnings that accrue
on the fund shall be available to the department and used to offset
the following General Fund costs in this order:
(A) Any transfers made to the Child Support Payment Trust Fund
from the General Fund.
(B) The cost of administering the State Disbursement Unit, subject
to appropriation by the Legislature.
(C) Other child support program activities, subject to
appropriation by the Legislature.
(c) The department may establish and administer a revolving
account in the Child Support Payment Trust Fund in an amount not to
exceed six hundred million dollars ($600,000,000) to ensure the
timely disbursement of child support. This amount may be adjusted by
the Director of Finance upon notification of the Legislature as
required, to meet payment timeframes required under federal law.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide transfers from
the General Fund to provide startup funds for the Child Support
Payment Trust Fund so that, together with the balances transferred
pursuant to Section 17311.7, the Child Support Payment Trust Fund
will have sufficient cash on hand to make all child support payments
within the required timeframes.
(e) Notwithstanding any other law, an ongoing loan shall be made
available from the General Fund, from funds not otherwise
appropriated, to the Child Support Payment Trust Fund, not to exceed
one hundred fifty million dollars ($150,000,000) to ensure the timely
disbursement of child support payments when funds have not been
recorded to the Child Support Payment Trust Fund or due to other fund
liabilities, including, but not limited to, Internal Revenue Service
negative adjustments to tax intercept payments. Whenever an
adjustment of this amount is required to meet payment timeframes
under federal law, the amount shall be adjusted after approval of the
Director of Finance. In conjunction with the Department of Finance
and the Controller's office, the department shall establish repayment
procedures to ensure the outstanding loan balance does not exceed
the average daily cash needs. The ongoing evaluation of the fund as
detailed in these procedures shall occur no less frequently than
(f) Notwithstanding any other law, the Controller may use the
moneys in the Child Support Payment Trust Fund for loans to the
General Fund as provided in Sections 16310 and 16381 of the
Government Code. However, interest shall be paid on all moneys loaned
to the General Fund from the Child Support Payment Trust Fund.
Interest payable shall be computed at a rate determined by the Pooled
Money Investment Board to be the current earning rate of the fund
from which loaned. This subdivision does not authorize any transfer
that will interfere with the carrying out of the object for which the
Child Support Payment Trust Fund was created.
(a) The department may enter into a trust agreement with a
trustee or fiscal intermediary to receive or disburse child support
collections. The trust agreement may contain provisions the
department deems reasonable and proper for the security of the child
support payments. Any trust accounts created by the trust agreements
may be held outside the State Treasury.
(b) For the 2012-13 fiscal year only, trust account moneys may be
invested in any of the types of securities listed in Section 16430 of
the Government Code or alternatives offering comparable security,
including, but not limited to, mutual funds and money market funds.
This subdivision does not authorize investments or transfers that
would interfere with carrying out the objective for which the Child
Support Payment Trust Fund was created.
(a) Upon the transfer of collection and disbursement
activities from each county to the State Disbursement Unit, the
auditor and controller of each county shall perform closeout
activities as directed by the Department of Child Support Services to
ensure accounting for all collections, obligations, and payments.
All child support collections remaining undisbursed and interest
earned on these funds shall be transferred to the Department of Child
Support Services for deposit in the Child Support Payment Trust
Fund. The local child support agency director and auditor and
controller shall perform these activities based on guidelines
provided by the department and shall certify the results of these
activities in a report submitted to the department within one year of
transfer of collection and distribution functions to the state.
(b) The department may contract for the audit of each county
report submitted under subdivision (a). Each audit shall be completed
within one year after the receipt of the report from the county.
(a) The department shall adopt regulations, orders, or
standards of general application to implement, interpret, or make
specific the law enforced by the department. Regulations, orders, and
standards shall be adopted, amended, or repealed by the director
only in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340)
of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(b) In adopting regulations, the department shall strive for
clarity of language that may be readily understood by those
administering public social services or subject to those regulations.
(c) The rules of the department need not specify or include the
detail of forms, reports, or records, but shall include the essential
authority by which any person, agency, organization, association, or
institution subject to the supervision or investigation of the
department is required to use, submit, or maintain the forms,
reports, or records.
(d) The department's regulations and other materials shall be made
available pursuant to the California Code of Regulations and in the
same manner as are materials of the State Department of Social
Services under the provisions of Section 205.70 of Title 45 of the
Code of Federal Regulations.
(a) Subject to the State Civil Service Act (Part 2
(commencing with Section 18500) of Division 5 of Title 2 of the
Government Code), the director shall appoint any assistants and other
employees that are necessary for the administration of the affairs
of the department and shall prescribe their duties and, subject to
the approval of the Department of Finance, fix their salaries.
(b) As the director adopts a plan for a local child support agency
to assume responsibility for child support enforcement activities in
any county served by a district attorney pursuant to Section 17304,
the director shall hire a sufficient number of regional state
administrators to oversee the local child support agencies to ensure
compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations. The
regions shall be divided based on the total caseload of each local
child support agency. The responsibilities of the regional state
administrators shall include all of the following:
(1) Conducting regular and comprehensive site visits to the local
child support agencies assigned to their region and preparing
quarterly reports to be submitted to the department. The local child
support agencies shall fully cooperate with all reasonable requests
made by the regional state administrators, including providing all
requested data on the local child support agency's program.
(2) Notifying a local child support agency of any potential or
actual noncompliance with any state or federal law or regulation by
the agency and working with the local child support agency to develop
an immediate plan to ensure compliance.
(3) Participating in program monitoring teams as set forth in
subdivision (c) of Section 17602.
(4) Participating in meetings with all regional state
administrators and the director on at least a monthly basis to
promote statewide uniformity as to the functions and structure of the
local child support agencies. The regional state administrators may
recommend proposals for approval and adoption by the director to
achieve this goal.
(5) Responding to requests for management or technical assistance
regarding program operations by local child support agencies.
No person, while holding the office of director, shall be a
trustee, manager, director, or other officer or employee of any
agency performing any function supervised by the department or any
institution that is subject to examination, inspection, or
supervision by the department.
Except as otherwise expressly provided, Part 1 (commencing
with Section 11000) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code,
as it may be added to or amended from time to time, shall apply to
the conduct of the department.
The department shall coordinate with the State Department of
Social Services to avoid the imposition of any federal penalties
that cause a reduction in the state's Temporary Assistance to Needy
Families grant, payable pursuant to Section 603(a)(1) of Title 42 of
the United States Code.
(a) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, if child support
payments are directly deposited to an account of the recipient's
choice, as authorized under the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act
(EFTA) (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1693 et seq.), the payments may only be
deposited to an account that meets the requirements of a qualifying
account, as defined in paragraph (2), for deposit of child support
(2) For purposes of this section, a "qualifying account" is one of
(A) A demand deposit or savings account at an insured financial
institution in the name of the person entitled to the receipt of
child support payments.
(B) A prepaid card account that meets all of the following:
(i) The account is held at an insured financial institution.
(ii) The account is set up to meet the requirements for
passthrough deposit or share insurance so that the funds accessible
through the account are eligible for insurance for the benefit of the
person entitled to the receipt of child support payments by the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in accordance with Part 330 of
Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or the National Credit
Union Share Insurance Fund in accordance with Part 745 of Title 12 of
the Code of Federal Regulations.
(iii) The account is not attached to any credit or overdraft
feature that is automatically repaid from the account after delivery
of the payment.
(iv) The issuer of the card complies with all of the requirements,
and provides the holder of the card with all of the consumer
protections, that apply to a payroll card account under the rules
implementing the EFTA or other rules subsequently adopted under the
EFTA that apply to prepaid card accounts.
(3) A person or entity that issues a prepaid card or maintains or
manages a prepaid card account that does not comply with paragraph
(2) shall not accept or facilitate the direct deposit of child
support payments to the prepaid card account.
(b) For purposes of this section, the department shall not be held
liable for authorizing a direct deposit of child support payments
into a prepaid card account designated by the recipient that does not
comply with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). The department has no
obligation to determine whether an account at the financial
institution of the recipient's choice is a qualifying account as
described in subdivision (a).
(c) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions
(1) "Financial institution" means a state or national bank, a
state or federal savings and loan association, a mutual savings bank,
or a state or federal credit union.
(2) "Issuer" means a person or entity that issues a prepaid card.
(3) "Payroll card account" shall have the same meaning as that
term is defined in the regulations implementing the EFTA.
(4) "Prepaid card" or "prepaid card account" means either of the
(A) A card, code, or other means of access to funds of a recipient
that is usable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants for goods or
services, or usable at automated teller machines.
(B) The same as those terms or related terms are defined in the
regulations adopted under the EFTA regarding general use reloadable