Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Ernest Hollings (D-SC), the ranking members of the Senate Commerce Committee, have introduced a bill that would authorize additional funding for a yearly audit of the E-rate program.
The provision is included in the annual reauthorization bill for the Federal Communications Commission, the agency that sets overall policy for the program. Sen. McCain said the provision "would authorize the Commission to allocate sufficient funds to be used for an audit of the E-rate program to determine the specific fraud or abuse that has occurred during the operation of the program." The FCC had requested additional funding for this purpose as part of its budget submission this year.
McCain added, "Serious allegations of fraud in the operation of the E-rate fund have been raised in recent months, and we should provide the Commission adequate resources to ensure that E-rate funds are being used for the purposes intended." The committee plans to mark up the agency's reauthorization on June 19.