In its Site Visit Quarterly Board Report to USAC, BearingPoint provides a summary about the 65 Outreach and 6 HATS (Helping Applicants To Succeed) Site Visits it conducted for the E-rate program during the final quarter of 2007. The report indicates that Site Reviewers noticed "…fewer issues related to documentation retention…" than in the past.
Through the Outreach Site Visit process, a review of one funding request for the selected applicant is performed that covers all relevant aspects of the E-rate process including the Form 470 competitive bidding process, the Form 471 application and review, and post-commitment paperwork. As part of the review, applicants must produce all of the pertinent documentation related to the highlighted funding request.
The report also provides information about aspects of the process where applicants are experiencing difficulty. The Site Reviewers reported that understanding and reconciling service provider invoices is one area where applicants continue to experience problems.
Applicants provide feedback about their experience with USAC and the E-rate process during the site visit. BearingPoint reports that most applicant provide feedback that is positive. However, complexity of program rules, including "…requests to streamline the application process, improve the PIA review process, and provide a more user-friendly Eligible Services List…" tops the concerns of E-rate applicants who participated in site visits covered in the report.
The full report can be found on USAC's website.