On October 24 the USAC Schools and Libraries Board held their quarterly board meeting. Board members are concerned that the FCC has not yet approved the draft eligible services list and that the Form 471 Filing Window will not open in a timely fashion. The Board plans to encourage the FCC to waive the regulation that the Form 471 Window can not open until at least 60 days after the FCC has approved the final eligible services list. Once the FCC has approved the list, the Board has given the SLD authority to set the window without convening another Board meeting and has given the SLD direction that the window should be 70 days.
Other items discussed:
Appeals: The SLD receives approximately 3000 appeals per year.and have close to 500 appeals currently pending. At the last quarterly Board meeting the SLD had 932 appeals pending.
Katrina: USAC has a web page devoted to Katrina related information at http://katrina-usf.org/katrina/ It is still unclear at this point if the funds will come from unused rollver E-rate dollars or from the general $2.25 billion cap. USAC is working on a "Katrina Implemtation Report" that it will send to the FCC within the next week which should provide further clarification on how Katrina affected E-rate beneficiaries can apply for those funds.
Invoicing: USAC recognizes the goal is to pay all invoices within 30 days of receipt and is continuing to try to streamline the process.
Audits: The USAC Schools and Libraries Board deemed eleven audits as being final and is actively working on 100 more. E-rate Manager SL+ users and E-rate vendors who use E-rate Manager can view past FCC/USAC approved audits by going into the "tools" section of E-rate Manager and click on "audits".
NPRM Comments: Both USAC and the FCC Office of Inspector General responded to the FCC's NPRM and provide valuable insight into how the two different agencies view the management of the E-rate program.
View USAC's comments.
The FCC OIG's office is concerned with oversight and ensuring there is no waste, fraud and abuse within the E-rate program.