National Fine Center: Progress Made But Challenges Remain For Criminal Debt System

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DIANE Publishing, Aug 30, 2004 - Political Science - 37 pages
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Reviews the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts' efforts to centralize criminal debt accounting & reporting within the National Fine Center. This system was expected to automate & centralize debt processing for all 94 judicial districts. This system was to replace the existing fragmented approach for receiving criminal fine payments & alleviate long-standing weaknesses in accounting for, collecting, & reporting on criminal monetary penalties imposed on fed. criminals, such as: fines, restitution, special assessments & reimburs. of costs.
 

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Page 6 - July 1997 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. A detailed description of our objectives, scope, and methodology is contained in appendix I.
Page 12 - Board recommends standards to the Comptroller General, the Director of OMB, and the Secretary of the Treasury...
Page 3 - This has created a fragmented process for tracking and collecting criminal debt and resulted in a lack of standardized procedures, discrepancies among agency collection records, and duplication of effort.
Page 4 - ... contained in the NFC database. As a result of our report and a program ''Bail bonds and collateral are forms of guarantees used to secure a defendant's temporary release until required to appear in court Failure of a defendant to appear in court may result in forfeiture of collateral or a bail bond 7If offenders do not make criminal debt payments as required, the debts are to be referred to the USAOs. The USAOs are responsible for taking legal collection actions on delinquent or defaulted criminal...
Page 1 - AOUSC officials have (1) established a process for centralizing and maintaining federal criminal debt accounts, (2) developed a formal training program for judicial district staff, (3) selected an off-the-shelf accounting system which became operational in April 1995, (4) installed an inexpensive interim software package that was used through March 1995 until the selected system became operational, (5) begun processing new criminal debt information for 25 of the smaller...
Page 5 - AOUSC plans to expand the system during phase n to improve users' access to NFC information and increase management information reporting capabilities. During phase n, which is projected to be completed within 3 to 5 years, AOUSC intends to either further enhance its selected off-the-shelf accounting system or perform a completely new procurement. AOUSC officials have been unable as yet to provide information, including cost estimates, on specifically how they will accomplish phase n.
Page 11 - Tines, restitutions, special assessments, and court costs that should not be considered as valid accounts receivable for financial reporting purposes. The allowance for doubtful or uncollectible receivables account represents those receivables that are unlikely to be collected and results in a decrease to the accounts receivable account balance. This allowance would be for financial reporting purposes, and would not affect the enforceability of the debts.
Page 11 - ... to write off debts, it could categorize certain debts as uncollectible for accounting purposes. We have worked with various agencies to develop methodologies for determining collectibility and, in some instances, have assisted them in applying the methodologies to their accounts receivable balances. Reliably estimating an allowance for uncollectible receivables requires consideration of both historical collection experience and current economic conditions. Also, a December 1992 standard recommended...
Page 12 - RUS, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of the Treasury. The Equity Fund was created to hold funds which represent certain equity interests of the Class B and C stockholders.
Page 6 - ... (3) selected an off-the-shelf accounting system which became operational in April 1995, (4) installed an inexpensive interim software package that was used through March 1995 until the selected system became operational, (5) begun processing new criminal debt information for 25 of the smaller judicial districts, and (6) begun converting criminal debt information from the interim to the off-the-shelf system.

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