The Schools and Libraries Division has issued a reminder that all payment paperwork associated with Year 2 funding commitments should be turned in by November 20, 2000 to ensure that applicants and vendors receive the payments that they deserve.
The Year 2 funding year ran from July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2000, with an extension to Sept. 30, 2000 for projects involving a one-time installation. Applicants should file a Form 486 to cover any services or products that were purchased during that period. If they have already paid for the services, they should then follow up by submitting a Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement (BEAR) form. In cases where they want their vendor to give them a discounted invoice, the vendor should file its Service Provider Invoice Form by the Nov. 20 date to receive the rest of its payment from the E-rate program.
The SLD said it will continue to accept paperwork after Nov. 20, but in most cases, it must finish processing payments for Year 2 by March 31, 2001. It said in an Oct. 27 announcement that the only way applicants could be assured that their paperwork would be processed would be to submit it by Nov. 20.
Exceptions to the deadline are made in certain circumstances, such as funding commitments involving outstanding appeals or in cases where the fund administrator deems it appropriate, such as when the SLD held up service provider change requests pending further guidance from the Federal Communications Commission.
Applicants are reminded that several hundred million dollars worth of funding that was committed in the first funding year was never claimed. If you have a question about the status of your payment paperwork, you may be able to get further guidance by phoning the BEAR/Invoice Hotline at 973-428-7335.