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SLD Warns Applicants to Respond Within 7 Days

The Schools and Libraries Division has warned E-rate applicants that they will have seven days in which to respond to requests for additional information about an application or they could jeopardize its approval.

The SLD said in a May 12 posting to its Web site: "We know that this is a short period, but we also are eager to complete the processing of all Year 3 applications as soon as possible. Failure to respond within seven calendar days may subject your application to rejection."

Through last week, the SLD had processed funding commitments totaling only about 17 percent of the amount it has available to commit for Year 3. The SLD has been intent on completing its application review in about half the time it has taken in previous years, in order to make all of its funding commitments before the start of the new funding year on July 1.

Schools and libraries who submitted particularly large applications are now being asked to complete so-called "Item 25 reviews," in which auditors ask them for detailed information about their budgets for such items as staff development, maintenance, software and desktop computers. On their E-rate applications, schools and libraries must certify that they have "secured access to all of the resources" they need to make effective use of the services purchased with their E-rate discounts.

The SLD said it had created two new phone numbers for applicants to use if they encounter trouble reaching its Program Integrity Assurance staff. The phone numbers are 973-884-8268 and 973-581-6742. The SLD said that if applicants are connected into voice mail when they call, they should leave their name, phone number, the state where their application is from, the application number if known and the name of the PIA representative who contacted them.

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