January 21, 1998
The Debt Collection
Improvement Act of 1996
The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA) fundamentally changed the manner in
which the Federal government is required to manage the collection of its delinquent debts.
Congress has directed that the management of delinquent obligations is to be centralized at the
Treasury Department in order to increase the efficiency of our collection efforts. The
Administration strongly supported this legislation and is fully committed to its successful
implementation. However, implementation of the statute's requirements to date has not met either
the President's or the Congress' expectations.
I am writing to enlist your personal and active participation in a concerted effort to revitalize
compliance with the statutory mandate. The statute is comprehensive and complex, and cannot be
successfully implemented without all affected agencies working in close cooperation with the
Treasury Department to analyze and refer the appropriate delinquent debts. The Secretary of the
Treasury has instructed the Financial Management Service to meet promptly with the affected
agencies to expedite this process.
Effective management of delinquent debt is highlighted in the President's FY 99 Budget as a Priority Management Objective. Accordingly, it is my expectation that each agency will address implementation of the DCIA with the utmost urgency and with the highest levels of cooperation. I have asked Acting Deputy Director Ed DeSeve to work with the President's Management Council to focus on the specific areas in need of immediate attention and to keep me advised of your progress in meeting these expectations. I know that by working together we will be successful in this important endeavor.