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Answers to Two Specific Questions Raised at the VOCA Administrators Quarterly Meeting in February 2013

June 10, 2013

TO:         VOCA Victim Compensation Administrators

FROM:   Joye E. Frost
              OVC Principal Deputy Director
              Office for Victims of Crime

Dear VOCA Victim Compensation Administrator:

Two specific questions were raised at the quarterly meeting in February 2013, and I wanted to share those questions, and the answers, with everyone.

Question 1: Does the requirement to check the General Services Administration Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) apply to State Victim Compensation Programs when they are making the determination of payment to an individual crime victim and/or to a service provider on behalf of the victim?

Answer: The EPLS requirement is applicable to State Victim Compensation Programs when administrative funds are used to enter into a contract; however, it is not applicable to compensation payments to an individual crime victim and/or to a service provider on behalf of the victim.

Question 2: Does the Administrative Office of the United States Court have a criminal debt payment tracking system, as indicated in VOCA, Section 1403(b)(8)?

Answer: The existence of an appropriate debt payment tracking system will be announced via written determination from the Attorney General. Since the Attorney General has not issued such a determination, and it does not appear one is coming soon, the status quo remains in effect. State compensation programs do not need to take any action with regard to 10602(b)(8) at this time.

The basics of the statute read: PL104-132 § 234(a)(1) (42 U.S.C. § 10602(b)(8)) requires states to deny compensation to claimants who are delinquent in paying a fine, penalty, or restitution imposed for a Federal offense for which the person was convicted; however, under PL 104-132, states may not deny compensation claims on the basis of § 10602(b)(8) until the Attorney General, in consultation with the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, issues a written determination that a criminal debt payment tracking system operated by the agency responsible for the collection of criminal debt has established communications links with entities that administer Federal victim compensation programs that are sufficient to ensure that victim compensation is not denied to any person except as authorized by law.

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