On June 28th the House passed the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2829) that funds the Federal Communications Commission. The bill would give the FCC authority to transfer nearly $21 million from the Universal Service Fund for additional audits and oversight activities. The bill would also give the FCC an additional $500,000 in direct appropriations to conduct further audits of Universal Service Fund program beneficiaries which includes the Schools and Libraries Program (E-rate).
The FCC has continued to be concerned about waste, fraud and abuse and will conduct many more audits if this bill passes the Senate with this provision included. The Senate will likely take up this bill later this summer or early fall. Due to waste, fraud and abuse concerns and the complexity of the regulations, Funds For Learning has created an online training and compliance service called E-rate University. E-rate University is designed to give administrators or company executive’s confidence that whoever is handling various E-rate functions not only will have success, but also stay in compliance with the ever changing rules.
Additionally, Funds For Learning catalogs each FCC and USAC audit and stores them in a searchable database. This allows E-rate Manager subscribers to keep current on what issues auditors are focusing on and how to avoid similar mistakes.