45 CFR 301.13 - Approval of State plans and amendments.
The State plan consists of written documents furnished by the State to cover its Child Support Enforcement program under title IV-D of the Act. After approval of the original plan by the Office, all relevant changes, required by new statutes, rules, regulations, interpretations, and court decisions, are required to be submitted currently so that the Office may determine whether the plan continues to meet Federal requirements and policies.
(a) Submittal. State plans and revisions of the plans are submitted first to the State governor or his designee for review in accordance with § 301.12, and then to the regional office. The States are encouraged to obtain consultation of the regional staff when a plan is in process of preparation or revision.
(b) Review. The Office of Child Support Enforcement in the regional offices is responsible for review of State plans and amendments. It also initiates discussion with the IV-D agency on clarification of significant aspects of the plan which come to its attention in the course of this review. State plan material on which the regional staff has questions concerning the application of Federal policy is referred with recommendations as required to the Office of Child Support Enforcement in the central office for technical assistance. Comments and suggestions, including those of consultants in specified areas, may be prepared by the central office for use by the regional staff in negotiations with the IV-D agency.
(c) Action. The Regional Office exercises delegated authority to take affirmative action on the State plan and amendments thereto on the basis of policy statements or precedents previously approved by the Director. The Director retains authority for determining that proposed plan material is not approvable, or that a previously approved plan no longer meets the requirements for approval, except that a final determination of disapproval may not be made without prior consultation and discussion by the Director with the Secretary. The Regional Office or the Director formally notifies the IV-D agency of the actions taken on the State plan or revisions thereto.
(d) Basis for approval. Determinations as to whether the State plan (including plan amendments and administrative practice under the plan) originally meets or continues to meet the requirements for approval are based on relevant Federal statutes and regulations. Guidelines are furnished to assist in the interpretation of the regulations.
(e) Prompt approval of the State plan. The determination as to whether the State plan submitted for approval conforms to the requirements for approval under the Act and regulations issued pursuant thereto shall be made promptly and not later than the 90th day following the date on which the plan submittal is received in the regional office, unless the Regional Office has secured from the IV-D agency a written agreement to extend that period.
(f) Prompt approval of plan amendments. Any amendment of an approved State plan may, at the option of the State, be considered as a submission of a new State plan. If the State requests that such amendments be so considered, the determination as to its conformity with the requirements for approval shall be made promptly and not later than the 90th day following the date on which such a request is received in the Regional Office with respect to an amendment that has been received in such office, unless the Regional Commissioner has secured from the State agency a written agreement to extend that period.
(g) Effective date. The effective date of a new plan may not be earlier than the first day of the calendar quarter in which an approvable plan is submitted.