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SLD Provides Some Wiggle Room on Certain Deadlines

The Schools and Libraries Division has announced that some of its deadlines are not as absolute as once described.

On Jan. 14, the SLD said that applicants who filed an online application by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday Jan. 17 would have until Jan. 26 to submit their paper certification forms and application attachments. In previous years, the paper portion of the online Form 471 submission also had to reach the SLD by the filing window deadline for an application to be considered "filed within the window."

In its announcement, the SLD said it was making the concession "recognizing that online system peformance has been slow, and in order to facilitate online filing." The SLD is relying on an increase in online filing this year to help it meet its deadline of issuing all third-year funding commitments by early May.

The SLD also said that although Dec. 15, 1999 was the published deadline for submitting Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) forms and service provider invoices covering Year One, it said it would continue to accept these forms. However, it added, "Please be aware that we do have an absolute deadline for USAC to make payments. While we will make every attempt to process your BEAR or invoice, we cannot promise that they will be paid. Each day beyond the Dec. 15 deadline increases the risk that your payment may not be fully processed."

The only exception to this rule are cases in which because of an appeal, a service provider change, or other long-time processing delay, the applicant did not receive its funding commitment or approval of a service provider change until late in the funding year or until after the year had ended. In most cases, the Federal Communications Commission is giving applicants until six months after they receive their commitment or approval letters to submit their paperwork.

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