22 CFR 309.15 - Notice requirements before offset.

§ 309.15 Notice requirements before offset.

(a) Deductions under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5514 shall not be made unless the creditor agency first provides the employee with written notice that he/she owes a debt to the Federal Government at least 30 calendar days before salary offset is to be initiated. When Peace Corps is the creditor agency this notice of intent to offset an employee's salary shall be hand-delivered or sent by certified mail to the most current address that is available. The written notice will state:

(1) That Peace Corps has reviewed the records relating to the claim and has determined that a debt is owed, its origin and nature, and the amount of the debt;

(2) The intention of Peace Corps to collect the debt by means of deduction from the employee's current disposable pay account until the debt and all accumulated interest is paid in full;

(3) The amount, frequency, approximate beginning date, and duration of the intended deductions;

(4) An explanation of the Peace Corps' policy concerning interest, penalties and administrative costs, including a statement that such assessments must be made unless excused in accordance with the FCCS (See § 309.5);

(5) The employee's right to inspect and copy all records of the Peace Corps pertaining to the debt claimed or to receive copies of such records if personal inspection is impractical;

(6) The right to a hearing conducted by a hearing official (an administrative law judge, or alternatively, an individual not under the supervision or control of the Peace Corps) with respect to the existence and amount of the debt claimed, or the repayment schedule, so long as a petition is filed by the employee as prescribed;

(7) If not previously provided, the opportunity (under terms agreeable to the Peace Corps) to establish a schedule for the voluntary repayment of the debt or to enter into a written agreement to establish a schedule for repayment of the debt in lieu of offset. The agreement must be in writing, signed by both the employee and the creditor agency, and documented in the creditor agency's files;

(8) The name, address and telephone number of an officer or employee of the Peace Corps who may be contacted concerning procedures for requesting a hearing;

(9) The method and time period for requesting a hearing;

(10) That the timely filing of a petition for a hearing as prescribed will stay the commencement of collection proceedings;

(11) The name and address of the office to which the petition should be sent;

(12) That the Peace Corps will initiate certification procedures to implement a salary offset, as appropriate, (which may not exceed 15 percent of the employee's disposable pay) not less than 30 calendar days from the date of delivery of the notice of debt, unless the employee files a timely petition for a hearing;

(13) That a final decision on the hearing (if one is requested) will be issued at the earliest practical date, but not later than 60 calendar days after the filing of the petition requesting the hearing, unless the employee requests and the hearing official grants a delay in the proceedings;

(14) That any knowingly false or frivolous statements, representations or evidence may subject the employee to:

(i) Disciplinary procedures appropriate under the Peace Corps Act or the Foreign Service Act, Peace Corps regulations, or any other applicable statutes or regulations;

(ii) Penalties under the False Claims Act, §§ 3729-3731 of title 31, United States Code, or any other applicable statutory authority; and

(iii) Criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. sections 286, 287, 1001, and 1002 or any other applicable authority;

(15) Any other rights and remedies available to the employee under statutes or regulations governing the program for which the collection is being made;

(16) That unless there are applicable contractual or statutory provisions to the contrary, amounts paid on or deducted for the debt which are later waived or found not owed to the United States will be promptly refunded to the employee; and

(17) That proceedings with respect to such debt are governed by 5 U.S.C. 5514.

(b) Peace Corps is not required to provide prior notice to an employee when the following adjustments are made by Peace Corps to a Peace Corps employee's pay:

(1) Any adjustment to pay arising out of an employee's election of coverage or a change in coverage under a Federal benefits program requiring periodic deductions from pay if the amount to be recovered was accumulated over four pay periods or less;

(2) A routine adjustment of pay that is made to correct an overpayment of pay attributable to clerical or administrative errors or delays in processing pay documents, if the overpayment occurred within the four pay periods preceding the adjustment, and, at the time of such adjustment, or as soon thereafter as practical, the individual is provided written notice of the nature and the amount of the adjustment and point of contact for contesting the adjustment; or

(3) Any adjustment to collect a debt of $50 or less, if, at the time of such adjustment, or as soon thereafter as practical, the individual is provided written notice of the nature of the amount of the adjustment and a point of contact for contesting the adjustment.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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