3.6 Release of Information


Chapter Federal Authority
Confidentiality and Safeguarding Information 26 U.S.C  § 6103  Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information
45 CFR 303.21 Safeguarding and disclosure of confidential information
Subject State Authority
Release of Information Wyo. Stat. § 20-6-101 et. seq. Child Support Enforcement Act
Wyoming Child Support Enforcement Rules
            Chapter 13 Safeguarding and Disclosure of Confidential Information
Policy Number Effective Date
3.6 July 1, 2014


Overview

Wyoming CSE receives information from a variety of sources.  Information obtained through the administration of the IV-D program is confidential and may only be released in connection with the administration of the program, other limited purposes, or as authorized by federal or Wyoming law.

Policy

As a general rule, all information found in the child support case file, including all POSSE records, is confidential and will not be released without a court order.  
Exceptions to this general rule are listed below; however, even with the exceptions, the State CSE Office and its contractors will not release federal tax information (FTI) provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) without independent verification and based on the IRS Disclosure Matrix.  Additionally, any financial institution data received through the Multistate Financial Institution Data Match (MSFIDM) or state Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) programs cannot be released.  

Identify the Caller

Prior to releasing any information, Wyoming CSE will identify the caller.  Wyoming CSEstaff including District CSE Offices, State Disbursement Unit (SDU), and Clerks of District Court will ask the caller for at least two of the following pieces of information:
  • POSSE Number;
  • Caller’s Name;
  • His or her date of birth;
  • His or her Social Security Number (Remember to provide the privacy notice.  See 3.4 Confidentiality and Safeguarding Information – Privacy Act for    details);
  • Verification of his or her address;
  • The name of the other party on the case (e.g. if the CP calls, ask for NCP name); and
  • The child’s information (name, date of birth, place of birth or social security number).

Once the identity of the caller has been established, staff may release information as indicated in the following sections.  


Remember:  Always be mindful of the family violence indicator (FVI).

If there is a question about the caller’s right to have information, always discuss the release with a supervisor prior to disclosing any information.

Party to the Case (CP or NCP)

A party to the case may only have access to general information on the status of the case including court order and payment information.  General information does not include address, phone, or social security numbers.

With regard to federal income tax refund payment information, the CP on the case can be told the amount and date of a federal income tax refund offset, including the source of the payment ant that the payment can be held for up to six (6) months.  While the CP can be told that the disbursement of an offset payment can be or is being delayed, the CP cannot be told the actual reason for the delay.  Instead, the worker can tell the CP the disbursement of the offset payment is delayed because it may be subject to adjustment.  (IRS Disclosure Matrix)

While Wyoming statutes may require the filing of certain documents in the court file, which are open to the public (e.g. address of a party on a return of service or name of employer on a notice to payor), Wyoming CSE will not release this information to the party.

Third Party

Unless a District CSE Office has a written policy approved by the IV-D Director that the District CSE Office will not release information to third parties, Wyoming CSE will only release information to a third party if the party to the case signs a statement allowing Wyoming CSE to speak to the third party (Release of Information). If a third party release is contained within the case file, Wyoming CSE will only provide general information on the status of the case.  If it is a paternity case or the request involves FTI, Wyoming CSE will not release any information to a third party.  

The District CSE Office Manager has the authority to revoke a third party release and communicate only with the party to the case.
The State Disbursement Unit (SDU) has the authority to release child support payment information to a third party if the custodial or non-custodial parent signs the proper “Authorization to Release Payment Information to Third Party.”  

Attorney

There are two separate instances when an attorney may receive information about a case from Wyoming CSE.  In both instances and for the District CSE Offices only, the special attorney general assigned to the office will determine the type and extent of information released.  The information provided below may be modified by the child support attorney on a case-by-case basis.

1) If the attorney is representing a case party, Wyoming CSE will release the same information to the attorney as it would to the party – general information on the status of the case and any documents filed in conjunction with the pending action.  Additionally, if an attorney represents a party, Wyoming CSE will only discuss the case with the attorney and not the party unless the attorney provides a written statement allowing Wyoming CSE to discuss such matters with the party.1

2) If the attorney is representing a Non-IV-D client, Wyoming CSE will direct the attorney to the court file.  If the attorney is involved in a child custody or visitation case, the attorney may request “Locate Only” services through the State Office. For more information see Safeguarding Child Support Information Guidelines and Fees - Application (5.2).

Law Enforcement

Wyoming CSE will only release “locate” information about a parent if the request is part of the administration of the child support program as authorized by federal and state law.  In addition to this limitation, an agent or attorney of the United States or Wyoming may request locate information regarding a parent or child when investigating the unlawful taking or restraint of a child.  For more details on a diligent search, see Appendix 3.L – Safeguarding Child Support Information Guidelines.

Legislator

When Wyoming CSE receives a call or letter from a legislator inquiring on behalf of a constituent, there is an implied release on the part of the custodial or non-custodial parent.  Wyoming CSE may disclose the information necessary for the response because of the implied consent and the inquiry relates to the administration of the IV-D program.

On the other hand, if the Wyoming legislature or another legislative body requests name and address information of participants that is not related to the administration of the child support program, Wyoming CSE will not release or disclose the requested information to any person, committee, or legislative body.

Wyoming Department of Family Services & Department of Health

Wyoming CSE may release certain information to Wyoming agencies administering the following programs:
  • IV-A (TANF/POWER)
  • IV-E (Foster Care) or State Foster Care
  • Title XIX (Medicaid)
  • Title XXI (SCHIP/Kid Care)
Wyoming CSE will not provide any of the programs with IRS information unless the IRS information has been independently verified through another reliable source and cannot provide any MSFIDM or FIDM information.
Any information obtained through the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) or Federal Case Registry (FCR) will meet the requirements outlined in federal law and statutes.  

For more details regarding the specific information that can be shared with the entities listed above, please refer to Safeguarding Child Support Information Guidelines.

Other IV-D Agencies – State and Tribal

With the exception of address information for a person marked with a family violence indicator (FVI), Wyoming CSE may share all information as long as it is in the administration of the IV-D child support program.


Remember:  Wyoming CSE will not release FTI from the IRS, MSFIDM, or FIDM information to anyone outside the IV-D child support program


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1See Apendix C - Communications with Persons Represented by Counsel for more details regarding communication and the responsibilities of attorneys with non-lawyers.

Version Number Last Revised Date
4 July 1, 2004