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Regulatory Barriers in Public Policy

Updated on February 2, 2011

Regulatory Barriers in Public Policy

A Public Awareness Incentive

Regulatory Barriers in Public Policy a Public Nuisances

According to the Almanac of Policy Issues, there are fourteen million single parent families in the United States. Approximately forty percent of the children in those families live in poverty. So, where are the public policies that protect these families?

Programs such as welfare, low income housing and child support collection are embedded with not only state policies but, also, interstate policies that actually complement one another in a joint effort to prevent families from accessing much needed programs. These policies are called regulatory barriers.

Within our government’s Code of Federal Regulations there are actually laws concerning the dismantling of these regulatory barriers in order to protect the people, but, as soon as they are written new regulations are put in place to counteract the removal of the barrier. States write and perform these procedures in an effort to gain control over money which has been allocated for the public. Eventually, the money is put back into the programs fund and used for interoffice financial responsibilities such as, pay raises, excessive travel expenses, and office and or capital improvement programs and hiring unqualified workers that need excessive training. A large percentage of the money allocated never gets to the public or is properly appropriated toward the procedures needed to create a positive and successful result.

The followings statistics are evidence of misappropriated funds. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. It has a $58.8 billion budget for 65 programs that target children, youth and families.[1] These programs include assistance with welfare, child support enforcement, adoption assistance, foster care, child care, and child abuse. State Agencies spent 3.6 billion dollars to collect $14.3 billion in child support. (API child support 2) So, where is the rest of the money?

According to the Policy Almanac 6.6 million noncustodial parents were located and 1.1 million child support orders were established. Out of the 11.9 million single family households eligible for child support only 36.4 % actually received at least one child support payment and 22.3 % received full payment. (API child support 2)

These payments are based upon state guidelines only. The payments are not always based upon actual income which is often not disclosed by the noncustodial parents. Child Support Agencies only require a hand written affidavit to be considered as proof of income. The Child Support Law actually requires full financial disclosure through written regulations. These regulations take up an entire section of the Code of Federal regulations referred to as: (Title 45 Subtitle B Chapter III: Office of Child Support Enforcement Child Support Enforcement Program), Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services)

The Federal Regulations are blocked by State Regulations preventing detailed financial disclosure by opting to require hand written disclosure instead of disclosure by a third party verification. Third party verifications are often required by state agencies in order to disperse many funds. In particular, the Housing Authorities and State Welfare Agencies implement a state matching system in order to verify funds disperse, also, the agencies require a third party to verify most income disclosures such as, a wage payment statement or letter from an employer verifying the clients statements of income. Why then is child support different?

Allowing states IV agencies the option to “not enforce” through vague policy adjustments that negate the actual Code of Federal Regulations is considered to be a regulatory barricade. In other words the Code of Federal Regulation is dismantled by the state agency interoffice policy. Only a small portion of the funds allocated by The Assistant Secretary of for Children and Families are actually used for the purposes intended; $58.8 billion vs. $3.6 billion.

Buried deep within the regulatory barriers are rules and regulations on the state and federal levels that intentionally prevent single parent families from accessing programs and policies which were originally intended to protect them. The above percentages have remained unchanged since the late 1970’s. (Almanac of Policy Issues; child support; 2) (Administration for Children and Families Wikipedia)

Regulatory Barriers have become our government’s bad habit. Creating an office separate from The Administration for Children and Families and separate from The Assistant Secretary for Children and Families that requires accountability for the $55 billion dollars unaccounted for is required to ensure that the funds appropriated meet certain specific articles of law and procedure. Any inappropriate funds directly unrelated to specific Codes of Regulations must be negated and redirected toward Federally Coded Policies. Further, Regulatory Barriers must be removed and prevented from being reinstalled into state policy by mirroring the Code of Federal Regulation on the state level ultimately making policies and procedures allot simpler and less expensive. Author: Penkul


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