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Report Indicates E-rate Audits and Investigations will Intensify Over Time

The Federal Communications Commission's Office of Inspector General has released a report discussing its activities related to performance and financial audits, and Universal Service Fund oversight. The OIG is required to release reports on a semi-annual basis which provides information about its activities in this area.

This report, which covered October 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, shows that in January, the OIG received $21.48 million from the Universal Service Fund to continue their oversight mission and now have 22 professional employees plus a support staff.  In 2006, the OIG had 10 professional staff. It is expected that the OIG will continue to hire more auditors, attorneys, and purchase technology to increase their investigatory capabilities. 

The OIG is continuing their efforts to coordinate and assist the US. DoJ and FBI investigate Universal Service fund fraud and believe that recent activity suggest that the "volume of work in this area will intensify over time." In fact, they have directed USAC to further educate and train its 12 auditing contracting firms on how to identify waste, fraud and abuse.

The OIG has acknowledged that recent audits have indicated general compliance with program rules, however they concerned with the millions of dollars in erroneous payments that have been discovered.  The report documents the 38 E-rate applicants from this time period whose audits have been finalized and where there may have been potential erroneous payments involved.  Funds For Learning has cataloged hundreds of FCC and USAC audits in order for E-rate stakeholders to better understand compliance issues and trends which can be found in E-rate Manager. 

The FCC OIG Semi-annual Report can be viewed here .

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