Starting in June 2009, and as required by 31 U.S.C. 3716, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been participating in the Department of Treasury’s Financial Management Service (FMS) Treasury Offset Program (TOP). As required by law, supplier payments are subject to offsets in whole or in part for delinquent tax and non-tax debts owed to the United States and the states and for delinquent child support payments. USPS contract clause 4-2, Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Policies, Statutes or Executive Orders, now includes a notification of Postal Service compliance with this federal law and its participation in the TOP.
TOP Notification and Supplier Inquiries
After payments are offset by the USPS, suppliers will receive a notification from the Department of Treasury’s FMS, which includes details about the government agency (or agencies) collecting the debt. Generally, the notification will be sent by FMS within 48 hours of the offset being applied. In addition, an offset can be ascertained by the abbreviation “TOP” that will be denoted on USPS check remittance advice under the heading “Travel Dates/Invoice/Claim Number.” For example:
TOP USP20090723 767123-1234
TOP (creditor agency phone number) (creditor agency name)
Because only 30 characters are available in the second TOP data field, the supplier may be unable to determine the creditor agency name or phone number since the information may get truncated. When this occurs, suppliers may obtain creditor agency contact information by calling the FMS Call Center at the phone number below.
When an offset occurs with respect to a payment by EFT, the phone number and name of the offset creditor agency are provided electronically to the supplier’s financial institution.
Department of Treasury’s Financial Management Service (FMS) Contact Information
To obtain the full creditor name and phone number, the supplier can contact:
US Treasury, FMS Division
FMS Call Center
Find more information on these programs at: http://www.fms.treas.gov/debt/top.html.