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e-CFR data is current as of April 1, 2020

Title 45Subtitle BChapter VI → Part 607

Title 45: Public Welfare


§607.1   Purpose and scope.
§607.2   Definitions.
§607.3   Applicability.
§607.4   Notice requirements before offset.
§607.5   Hearing.
§607.6   Written decision.
§607.7   Coordinating offset with another Federal agency.
§607.8   Procedures for salary offset.
§607.9   Refunds.
§607.10   Statute of limitations.
§607.11   Non-waiver of rights.
§607.12   Interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; E.O. 12107, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 264; 5 CFR part 550, subpart K.

Source: 58 FR 68769, Dec. 29, 1993, unless otherwise noted.

§607.1   Purpose and scope.

(a) This part provides procedures for the collection by administrative offset of a federal employee's salary without his or her consent to satisfy certain debts owed to the Federal government. This part applies to all Federal employees who owe debts to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and to current employees of NSF who owe debts to other Federal agencies. This part does not apply when the employee consents to recovery from his or her current pay account.

(b) This part does not apply to debts or claims arising under:

(1) The Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, 26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.;

(2) The Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.;

(3) The tariff laws of the United States; or

(4) Any case where a collection of a debt by salary offset is explicitly provided for or prohibited by another statute.

(c) This part does not apply to any adjustment to pay arising out of an employee's selection 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.

(d) This part does not preclude the compromise, suspension, or termination of collection action where appropriate under the standards implementing the Federal Claims Collection Act, 31 U.S.C. 3711 et seq., and 4 CFR parts 101 through 105.

(e) This part does not preclude an employee from requesting waiver of an overpayment under 5 U.S.C. 5584, 10 U.S.C. 2774, or 32 U.S.C. 716, or in any way questioning the amount or validity of the debt by submitting a subsequent claim to the General Accounting Office. This part does not preclude an employee from requesting a waiver pursuant to other statutory provisions applicable to the particular debt being collected.

(f) Matters not addressed in this part should be reviewed in accordance with the Federal Claims Collection Standards at 4 CFR 101.1 et seq.

§607.2   Definitions.

For the purposes of this part the following definitions will apply:

Agency means an executive agency as defined at 5 U.S.C. 105, including the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Postal Rate Commission; a military department as defined at 5 U.S.C. 102; an agency or court in the judicial branch; an agency of the legislative branch, including the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives; and other independent establishments that are entities of the Federal government.

Certification means a written debt claim received from a creditor agency which requests the paying agency to offset the salary of an employee.

Chief Financial Officer means the Chief Financial Officer of NSF or such other official of NSF who is designated by the Chief Financial Officer to determine whether an employee is indebted to the United States and to take action to collect such debts.

Creditor agency means an agency of the Federal Government to which the debt is owed.

Debt means an amount owed by a Federal employee to the United States from sources which include loans insured or guaranteed by the United States and all other amounts due the United States from fees, leases, rents, royalties, services, sales of real or personal property, overpayments, penalties, damages, interests, fines, forfeitures (except those arising under the Uniform Code of Military Justice), and all other similar sources.

Disposable pay means the amount that remains from an employee's Federal pay after required deductions for social security, Federal, State or local income tax, health insurance premiums, retirement contributions, life insurance premiums, Federal employment taxes, and any other deductions that are required to be withheld by law.

Hearing official means an individual responsible for conducting a hearing with respect to the existence or amount of a debt claimed, or the repayment schedule of a debt, and who renders a decision on the basis of such hearing. A hearing official may not be under the supervision or control of the Chief Financial Officer or of persons having supervision or control over the Chief Financial Officer.

NSF means the National Science Foundation.

Paying agency means the agency that employs the individual who owes the debt and authorizes the payment of his or her current pay.

Salary offset means an administrative offset to collect a debt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5514 by deduction(s) at one or more officially established pay intervals from the current pay account of an employee without his or her consent.

§607.3   Applicability.

The regulations in this part are to be followed when:

(a) NSF is owed a debt by an individual who is a current employee of the NSF; or

(b) NSF is owed a debt by an individual currently employed by another Federal agency; or

(c) NSF employs an individual who owes a debt to another Federal agency.

§607.4   Notice requirements before offset.

(a) Salary offset shall not be made against an employee's pay unless the employee is provided with written notice signed by the Chief Financial Officer of the debt at least 30 days before salary offset commences.

(b) The written notice shall contain:

(1) A statement that the debt is owed and an explanation of its nature and amount;

(2) The agency's intention to collect the debt by deducting from the employee's current disposable pay account;

(3) The amount, frequency, proposed beginning date, and duration of the intended deduction(s);

(4) An explanation of interest, penalties, and administrative charges, including a statement that such charges will be assessed unless excused in accordance with the Federal Claims Collections Standards at 4 CFR 101.1;

(5) The employee's right to inspect, request, and receive a copy of government records relating to the debt;

(6) The employee's opportunity to establish a written schedule for the voluntary repayment of the debt in lieu of offset;

(7) The employee's right to an oral hearing or a determination based on a review of the written record (“paper hearing”) conducted by an impartial hearing official concerning the existence or the amount of the debt, or the terms of the repayment schedule;

(8) The procedures and time period for petitioning for a hearing;

(9) A statement that a timely filing of a petition for a hearing will stay the commencement of collection proceedings;

(10) A statement that a final decision on the hearing (if requested) will be issued by the hearing official not later than 60 days after the filing of the petition requesting the hearing unless the employee requests and the hearing official grants a delay in the proceedings;

(11) A statement that knowingly false or frivolous statements, representations, or evidence may subject the employee to appropriate disciplinary procedures and/or statutory penalties;

(12) A statement of other rights and remedies available to the employee under statutes or regulations governing the program for which the collection is being made;

(13) Unless there are contractual or statutory provisions to the contrary, a statement that 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

(14) A statement that the proceedings regarding such debt are governed by section 5 of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (5 U.S.C. 5514).

§607.5   Hearing.

(a) Request for hearing. (1) An employee may file a petition for an oral or paper hearing in accordance with the instructions outlined in the agency's notice to offset.

(2) A hearing may be requested by filing a written petition addressed to the Chief Financial Officer stating why the employee disputes the existence or amount of the debt or, in the case of an individual whose repayment schedule has been established other than by a written agreement, concerning the terms of the repayment schedule. The petition for a hearing must be received by the Chief Financial Officer not later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the employee's receipt of the offset notice, or notice of the terms of the payment schedule, unless the employee can show good cause for failing to meet the filing deadline.

(b) Hearing procedures. (1) The hearing will be presided over by an impartial hearing official.

(2) The hearing shall conform to procedures contained in the Federal Claims Collection Standards, 4 CFR 102.3(c). The burden shall be on the employee to demonstrate that the existence or the amount of the debt is in error.

§607.6   Written decision.

(a) The hearing official shall issue a final written opinion no later than 60 days after the filing of the petition.

(b) The written opinion will include a statement of the facts presented to demonstrate the nature and origin of the alleged debt; the hearing official's analysis, findings, and conclusions; the amount and validity of the debt, if any; and the repayment schedule, if any.

§607.7   Coordinating offset with another Federal agency.

(a) When the NSF is the creditor agency and the Chief Financial Officer determines that an employee of another agency (i.e., the paying agency) owes a debt to the NSF, the Chief Financial Officer shall, as appropriate:

(1) Certify in writing to the paying agency that the employee owes the debt, the amount and basis of the debt, the date on which payment was due, and the date the Government's right to collect the debt accrued, and that this part 607 has been approved by the Office of Personnel Management.

(2) Unless the employee has consented to salary offset in writing or signed a statement acknowledging receipt of the required procedures, and the written consent is sent to the paying agency, the Chief Financial Officer must advise the paying agency of the action(s) taken under this part 607, and the date(s) they were taken.

(3) Request the paying agency to collect the debt by salary offset. If deductions must be made in installments, the Chief Financial Officer may recommend to the paying agency the amount or percentage of disposable pay to be collected in each installment;

(4) Arrange for a hearing upon the proper petitioning by the employee.

(b) When the NSF is the creditor agency and the employee is in the process of separating from the Federal service, the NSF must submit its debt claim to the paying agency as provided in this part. The paying agency must certify the total amount collected, give a copy of the certification to the employee, and send a copy of the certification and notice of the employee's separation to the NSF. If the paying agency is aware that the employee is entitled to Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund or other similar payments, it must certify to the agency responsible for making such payments that the debtor owes a debt, including the amount of the debt, and that the provisions of 5 CFR 550.1108 have been followed.

(c) When the NSF is the creditor agency and the employee has already separated from Federal service and all payments due from the paying agency have been paid, the Chief Financial Officer may request, unless otherwise prohibited, that money payable to the employee from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund or other similar funds be collected by administrative offset.

(d) When the NSF is the paying agency, upon receipt of a properly certified debt claim from another agency, deductions will be scheduled to begin at the next established pay interval. The employee must receive written notice that NSF has received a certified debt claim from the creditor agency, the amount of the debt, the date salary offset will begin, and the amount of the deduction(s). NSF shall not review the merits of the creditor agency's determination of the validity or the amount of the certified claim. If the employee transfers to another agency after the creditor agency has submitted its debt claim to NSF and before the debt is collected completely, NSF must certify the amount collected. One copy of the certification must be furnished to the employee. A copy must be furnished to the creditor agency with notice of the employee's transfer.

§607.8   Procedures for salary offset.

(a) Deductions to liquidate an employee's debt will be by the method and in the amount stated in the Chief Financial Officer's notice of intention to offset as provided in §607.4. Debts will be collected in one lump sum where possible. If the employee is financially unable to pay in one lump sum, collection must be made in installments.

(b) Debts will be collected by deduction at officially established pay intervals from an employee's current pay account unless alternative arrangements for repayment are made.

(c) Installment deductions will be made over a period not greater than the anticipated period of employment. The size of installment deductions must bear a reasonable relationship to the size of the debt and the employee's ability to pay. The deduction for the pay intervals for any period must not exceed 15% of disposable pay unless the employee has agreed in writing to a deduction of a greater amount.

(d) Unliquidated debts may be offset against any financial payment due to a separated employee including but not limited to final salary or leave payment in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3716.

§607.9   Refunds.

(a) NSF will promptly refund to an employee any amounts deducted to satisfy debts owed to NSF when the debt is waived, found not owed to NSF, or when directed by an administrative or judicial order.

(b) Another creditor agency will promptly return to NSF any amounts deducted by NSF to satisfy debts owed to the creditor agency when the debt is waived, found not owed, or when directed by an administrative or judicial order.

(c) Unless required by law, refunds under this section shall not bear interest.

§607.10   Statute of limitations.

If a debt has been outstanding for more than 10 years after NSF's right to collect the debt first accrued, the agency may not collect by salary offset unless facts material to the Government's right to collect were not known and could not reasonably have been known by the official or officials who were charged with the responsibility for discovery and collection of such debts.

§607.11   Non-waiver of rights.

An employee's involuntary payment of all or any part of a debt collected under the regulations in this part will not be construed as a waiver of any rights that the employee may have under 5 U.S.C. 5514 or any other provision of law.

§607.12   Interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

Charges may be assessed on a debt for interest, penalties, and administrative costs in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3717 and the Federal Claims Collection Standards, 4 CFR 101.1.

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