§ 16.13 Procedures for centralized administrative offset.
(a) The NRC must notify Treasury of all debts that are delinquent as defined in the FCCS (over 180 days old) so that recovery may be made by centralized administrative offset. This includes those debts the NRC seeks to recover from the pay account of an employee of another agency via salary offset. The Treasury and other Federal disbursing officials will match payments, including Federal salary payments, against such debts. When a match occurs, and all the requirements for offset have been met, the payments will be offset to collect the debt. Prior to offset of the pay account of an employee, the NRC must comply with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 5514, 5 CFR part 550, and 10 CFR part 15. Procedures for notifying Treasury of a debt for purposes of collection by centralized administrative offset are contained in 31 CFR part 285 and 10 CFR 15.33. Procedures for internal salary offset are contained in Sec. 16.15 of this chapter.
(b) When the NRC determines that an employee of another Federal agency owes a delinquent debt to the NRC, the NRC will, as appropriate:
(1) Arrange for a hearing upon the proper petitioning by the employee;
(2) Provide the Federal employee with a notice and an opportunity to dispute the debt as contained in 5 U.S.C. 5514 and 10 CFR 15.26.
(3) Submit the debt to Treasury for centralized administrative offset and certify in writing that the debtor has been afforded the legally required due process notification.
(4) If collection must be made in installments, the NRC must advise the paying agency of the amount or percentage of disposable pay to be collected in each installment.
(c) Offset amount. (1) The amount offset from a salary payment under this section shall be the lesser of:
(i) The amount of the debt, including any interest, penalties, and administrative costs; or
(ii) An amount up to 15 percent of the debtor's disposable pay.
(2) Alternatively, the amount offset may be an amount agreed upon, in writing, by the debtor and the NRC.
(3) Offsets will continue until the debt, including any interest, penalties, and administrative costs, is paid in full or otherwise resolved to the satisfaction of the NRC.
(d) Priorities. (1) A levy pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall take precedence over other deductions under this section.
(2) When a salary payment may be reduced to collect more than one debt, amounts offset under this section will be applied to a debt only after amounts offset have been applied to satisfy past due child support debt assigned to a State pursuant 26 U.S.C. 6402(c) and 31 CFR 285.7(h)(2).
(e) Notice. (1) Before offsetting a salary payment, the disbursing official, or the paying agency on behalf of the disbursing official, shall notify the Federal employee in writing of the date that deductions from salary will commence and of the amount of such deductions.
(2)(i) When an offset occurs under this section, the disbursing official, or the paying agency on behalf of the disbursing official, shall notify the Federal employee in writing that an offset has occurred including:
(A) A description of the payment and the amount of the offset taken;
(B) Identification of NRC as the agency requesting the offset; and,
(C) A contact point within the NRC that will handle concerns regarding the offset.
(ii) The information described in paragraphs (e)(2)(i)(B) and (e)(2)(i)(C) of this section does not need to be provided to the Federal employee when the offset occurs if such information was included in a prior notice from the disbursing official or paying agency.
(3) The disbursing official will advise the NRC of the names, mailing addresses, and taxpayer identifying numbers of the debtors from whom amounts of past-due, legally enforceable debt were collected and of the amounts collected from each debtor. The disbursing official will not advise the NRC of the source of payment from which such amounts were collected.
(f) Fees. Agencies that perform centralized salary offset computer matching services may charge a fee sufficient to cover the full cost of such services. In addition, Treasury or a paying agency acting on behalf of Treasury, may charge a fee sufficient to cover the full cost of implementing the administrative offset program. Treasury may deduct the fees from amounts collected by offset or may bill the NRC. Fees charged for offset shall be based on actual administrative offsets completed.
(g) Disposition of amounts collected. The disbursing official conducting the offset will transmit amounts collected for debts, less fees charged under paragraph (f) of this section, to NRC. If an erroneous offset payment is made to the NRC, the disbursing official will notify the NRC that an erroneous offset payment has been made. The disbursing official may deduct the amount of the erroneous offset payment from future amounts payable to the NRC. Alternatively, upon the disbursing official's request, the NRC shall return promptly to the disbursing official or the affected payee an amount equal to the amount of the erroneous payment (without regard to whether any other amounts payable to the agency have been paid). The disbursing official and the NRC shall adjust the debtor records appropriately.
[67 FR 57508, Sept. 11, 2002]