The U.S. Department of Justice is reporting that the Houston Independent School District (HISD) agreed to pay $850,000 as part of a civil settlement relating to E-rate fraud and to “relinquish millions of dollars in requests for federal funds”. The DoJ contended that HISD officials engaged in an anti-competitive manner accepting “…gratuities from technology vendors, including trips, meals and loans…”
According to a Funds For Learning analysis, HISD currently has nearly $253 million pending in E-rate requests since E-rate Funding Year 2005. It is unclear what portion of this pending amount or previous commitments are tied to the competitive bidding issues addressed in the settlement.
The DoJ Press Release can be viewed here.