The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996
The Debt Collection
Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA) fundamentally changed the manner
in which the Federal government is required to manage the collection
of its delinquent debts. Congress has directed that the management
of delinquent obligations is to be centralized at the Treasury Department
in order to increase the efficiency of our collection efforts. The
Administration strongly supported this legislation and is fully
committed to its successful implementation. However, implementation
of the statute's requirements to date has not met either the President's
or the Congress' expectations.
I am writing to enlist
your personal and active participation in a concerted effort to
revitalize compliance with the statutory mandate. The statute is
comprehensive and complex, and cannot be successfully implemented
without all affected agencies working in close cooperation with
the Treasury Department to analyze and refer the appropriate delinquent
debts. The Secretary of the Treasury has instructed the Financial
Management Service to meet promptly with the affected agencies to
expedite this process.
Effective management of delinquent debt is highlighted in the President's FY 99 Budget as a Priority Management Objective. Accordingly, it is my expectation that each agency will address implementation of the DCIA with the utmost urgency and with the highest levels of cooperation. I have asked Acting Deputy Director Ed DeSeve to work with the President's Management Council to focus on the specific areas in need of immediate attention and to keep me advised of your progress in meeting these expectations. I know that by working together we will be successful in this important endeavor.