The Schools and Libraries Division has implemented a new procedure that is designed to give applicants greater control over the disbursement of payments to internal connections vendors. Now applicants will be able to notify the SLD in advance that they wish to review any Service Provider Invoice Form that is submitted on particular Funding Request Numbers.
The new procedure is in response to a recommendation from the SLD’s Task Force on the Prevention of Waste, Fraud and Abuse, and, in effect, gives applicants the chance to review and approve certain Service Provider Invoice Forms the way their providers can review Billed Entity Applicant Reimbursement forms. The new procedure is designed to provide stronger controls and guard against cases in which a service provider could deplete a funding request as soon as an applicant had submitted a Form 486 application, a form that is now subject to a strict timetable because of the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
Many applicants have been concerned that when they elected to receive discounted invoices, they had virtually no control over the pace of payments to their vendors once they filed a Form 486. This new procedure will permit applicants to review such disbursements in advance if they are concerned about whether the work will be performed to their satisfaction before their vendors are paid.
Applicants can notify the SLD Client Service Bureau that they wish to complete a service certification for a particular funding request. Future payments will not be processed by the SLD until the applicant makes this certification.
For applicants that don’t use this new procedure, the SLD provides quarterly reports on the disbursements that have been made on their funding requests. Funds For Learning’s E-rate Manager SL tool (www.eratemanager.com) provides daily updates on these disbursements.