§ 422.824. Non-centralized administrative offset.

(a) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, when centralized Administrative Offset under § 422.825 is not available or appropriate, we may collect a past due, legally enforceable, nontax delinquent debt by conducting non-centralized Administrative Offset internally or in cooperation with the agency certifying or authorizing payments to the debtor. Generally, non-centralized Administrative Offsets are ad hoc case-by-case offsets that an agency conducts at its own discretion, internally or in cooperation with a second agency certifying or authorizing payments to the debtor. In these cases, we may make a request directly to a payment-authorizing agency to offset a payment due a debtor to collect a delinquent debt. We adopt the procedures in 31 CFR 901.3(c) so that we may request the Department of the Treasury or any other payment-authorizing agency to conduct a non-centralized Administrative Offset.

(b) Administrative Offset may be initiated only after:

(1) The debtor has been sent a notice of the type and amount of the debt, the intention to initiate Administrative Offset to collect the debt, and an explanation of the debtor's rights under 31 U.S.C. 3716; and

(2) The debtor has been given:

(i) The opportunity to review and copy records related to the debt;

(ii) The opportunity for a review within the department of the determination of indebtedness; and

(iii) The opportunity to make a written agreement to repay the debt.

(c) The agency may omit the requirements under paragraph (b) of this section when:

(1) Offset is in the nature of a recoupment (i.e., the debt and the payment to be offset arise out of the same transaction or occurrence);

(2) The debt arises under a contract as set forth in Cecile Industries, Inc. v. Cheney, 995 F.2d 1052 (Fed. Cir. 1993) (notice and other procedural protections set forth in 31 U.S.C. 3716(a) do not supplant or restrict established procedures for contractual offsets covered by the Contracts Disputes Act); or

(3) In the case of non-centralized Administrative Offset conducted under paragraph (a) of this section, the agency first learns of the existence of the amount owed by the debtor when there is insufficient time before payment would be made to the debtor to allow for prior notice and an opportunity for review. When prior notice and an opportunity for review are omitted, we will give the debtor such notice and an opportunity for review as soon as practical and will promptly refund any money ultimately found not to have been owed to the Government.

(d) When the debtor previously has been given any of the required notice and review opportunities with respect to a particular debt, such as under § 422.805, we need not duplicate such notice and review opportunities before Administrative Offset may be initiated.

(e) Before requesting that a payment-authorizing agency conduct non-centralized Administrative Offset, we will:

(1) Provide the debtor with due process as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section; and

(2) Provide the payment-authorizing agency written certification that the debtor owes the past due, legally enforceable delinquent debt in the amount stated and that we have fully complied with this section.

(f) When a creditor agency requests that we, as the payment authorizing agency, conduct non-centralized Administrative Offset, we will comply with the request, unless the offset would not be in the best interest of the United States with respect to the program of the agency, or would otherwise be contrary to law. Appropriate use should be made of the cooperative efforts of other agencies in effecting collection by Administrative Offset, including salary offset.

(g) When collecting multiple debts by non-centralized Administrative Offset, we will apply the recovered amounts to those debts in accordance with the best interests of the United States, as determined by the facts and circumstances of the particular case, particularly the applicable statute of limitations.