Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have asked the FCC and the USAC to turn over a variety of records as part of the committee's review of potential waste, fraud and abuse in the E-rate program.
Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have asked the Federal Communications Commission and the Universal Service Administrative Company to turn over a variety of records as part of the committee's review of potential waste, fraud and abuse in the E-rate program.
In letters to FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell and USAC CEO Cheryl Parrino, Committee Chairman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, R-LA, and Rep. James Greenwood, R-PA, who is in charge of the panel's inquiry, noted that there are at least 30 active federal and state investigations of either vendors or recipients of E-rate discounts, involving more than $200 million worth of questionable funding.
The committee asked the agencies to turn over a wide variety of records by April 4. Among other things, Powell was asked to produce:
- records relating to the determination of eligible products and services;
- FCC records on beneficiary appeals;
- records relating to "purchase of equipment of services eligible for funding by one school in a district and then transferred to another school that would not have been eligible for funding";
- an explanation of how the FCC plans to increase oversight of the Universal Service Fund in 2003.
Among the items Parrino was asked to produce were:
- all audits related to the E-rate program;
- all minutes, including executive sessions, of meetings of the USAC board and its committees and two subcommittees;
- an explanation of how USAC trains personnel who review E-rate applications, including their minimum qualifications;
- all records related to failure of vendors to remit E-rate funds to beneficiaries;
- information about software, if any, that USAC uses to detect fraud.
- information about service providers and beneficiaries that have been associated with violations of program rules in more than one application or more than one funding year.