Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 290-7-1-.16 - Confidentiality of Department Records and Information

(a) Georgia law provides that any information or records obtained by the Department pursuant to its duties under the CSRA or UIFSA shall be deemed confidential. Any information maintained by the Department shall be released only by written permission of the party or parties named in the information or records, by order of a court, or for those purposes specifically authorized by the CSRA. Those purposes are limited to:
(1) The Department's administration of any plan or program approved under Parts A, B, C or D of Title IV of the Social Security Act or under Titles II, X, XIV, XVI, XIX or XX of the Act or the supplemental security income program established under Title XVI of the Act;
(2) Any investigations, prosecution or criminal or civil proceeding conducted in connection with the administration of such plan or program; or
(3) The administration of any other federally assisted program (such as the food stamp program) which provides assistance, in cash or in kind, or services, directly to individuals on the basis of need.
(b) Due to this confidentiality, the Department will resist, through its attorneys, any non-party discovery requests or subpoenas seeking information held by the Department under this program, excepting subpoenas issued by law enforcement officers or entities pursuant to a criminal investigation which appears to be related to the Department's operation of this program (for example, potential fraud related to the receipt of disbursements of child support).
(c) The Department may disclose to the applicant or recipient of services any support-related information which may be contained in his or her child support record when disclosed for the purpose of assisting them in making or enforcing a child support order, but only such information as relates to the individual himself or herself (e.g., the obligor may request information pertaining to him or her, but not information pertaining to the obligee). Moreover, information obtained directly through the state or federal tax offset program shall retain its confidentiality and shall only be used in pursuit of the Department's debt collection duties and practices. Federal tax return information can only be used in establishing appropriate agency records (or in defense of any litigation or administrative procedure ensuing from a reduction or intercept of the obligor's tax refund).
(d) If there is a family violence indicator ("FVI") present on a file that is the subject of a request for disclosure, the Department shall refuse to release any records or information associated with that file without a court order, issued in conformance with O.C.G.A. 9-10-2, directing such release of records or information.
(e) The public is reminded that it is not necessary (nor desirable) to subpoena information about payment histories maintained by the Department. Payment histories are available upon request to all obligors and obligees. Further, certified copies of payment records maintained by the Department "shall, without further proof, be admitted into evidence in any legal proceeding in this state." O.C.G.A. ยง 19-6-33(i). Any party or person wishing to obtain a certified copy of payment records maintained by the Department may send a written request setting forth the agency case number and a return-addressed envelope with first-class postage to the DCSS office that maintains the case. Any request for certified payment histories may be subject to fees equivalent to fees charged for open records requests under Department of Human Services Personnel Policy # 602.
(f) The Department shall not release any information in its possession where such release would conflict with federal law or federal regulations.


Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 290-7-1-.16
O.C.G.A. Secs. 19-6-33(i), 19-11-24, 50-13-1et seq.
Original Rule entitled "Appeal Rights Following Fair Hearing" adopted. F. Oct. 17, 1991; eff. Nov. 6, 1991. Repealed: New Rule entitled "Confidentiality of Department Records and Information" adopted. F. June 15, 2011; eff. July 5, 2011.

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