The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) hired BearingPoint to conduct day trips to 1000 applicants per year. Applicants should regard these visits as “mini-audits” because these visits can trigger further questions from USAC auditors. The first year consisted of training BearingPoint staff, putting processes in place to conduct this effort and beginning the process of visiting E-rate applicants. During the second year of the program BearingPoint will visit approximately 84 applicants per month.
USAC describes this initiative as an education and outreach campaign whose mission is to:
- Solicit suggestions on ways for USAC to improve its outreach and education efforts.
- Provide USAC knowledge on how program funds are being used.
- Identify "best practices" to publicize for possible use by other program participants.
- Educate applicants regarding program rules and answer questions.
- Verify the receipt and function of invoiced products and services supported with USF Funds.
In the January 2006 BearingPoint report to USAC, BearingPoint highlights these potential issues for follow up:
- Uninstalled Universal Service funded equipment was used for spare parts
- Universal Service funded equipment moved to ineligible entities
- Universal Service funded equipment was being used by ineligible users
- Applicant did not have a Technology Plan
- Entity was closed and equipment could not be reviewed due to health department restrictions
- Universal Service funded services disconnected for non-payment
- Entity had not made payments to service provider
- Universal Service funded equipment was uninstalled or missing
- Previous administration removed/shredded all Universal Service documentation
- Applicant reported inappropriate activities conducted by a service Provider