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Consortium FCC decisions in 2006

To date in 2006, the FCC has released two decisions addressing consortia and acceptable evidence of authority to represent consortium members. The first case was released May 26, 2006. In the Request for Waiver of the Decision of the Universal Service Administrator by South Carolina Division of the Chief Information Officer, Columbia, South Carolina, USAC denied the consortium’s 2005 funding request due to the lack of letters of agency (LOA) that met USAC guidelines. The FCC found USAC had revised LOA requirements in the middle of the filing window which did not provide South Carolina CIO enough time to gather LOAs which would conform to the new standards. Additionally, South Carolina CIO provided the FCC with evidence of statutory authority to act on behalf of the consortium members. The FCC determined South Carolina CIO had authority to apply for funding on behalf of its members and remanded the case back to USAC.The second decision was released October 24, 2006 and was the Request for Waiver of the Decision of the Universal Service Administrator by Berrien County Intermediate School District, Berrien Springs, Michigan. In the course of processing Berrien’s 2006 funding requests, Berrien was asked during PIA to provide proof of its authority to act on behalf of the consortium. In response to the PIA question, Berrien faxed the minutes of meetings where the consortium was formed, and stated this was evidence that the schools knew of the consortium’s existence and Berrien had authority to file on behalf of the schools. The SLD denied the funding requests and on appeal to the FCC, Berrien argued they had statutory authority to file on behalf of the consortium and thus did not need signed LOAs. The FCC granted the appeal and remanded the case back to the SLD because Berrien provided proof of their statutory authority, had responded in good faith to the PIA request and made efforts to be responsive to the SLD during PIA.View the full text of the decisions at Berrien County Consortium Appeal and South Carolina Consortium Appeal

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