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Changes to the Payment Quality Assurance Program

At the Oct 29th USAC Quarterly Board Meeting, it was reported that USAC and the FCC were preparing additional beneficiary questions for the Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) program. It looks like those changes have recently been implemented. Funds For Learning notes that recent PQA requests have contained new questions to which beneficiaries are required to respond. The additional items include:

  • Service provider selection documentation including bid evaluation worksheet(s) and contract(s) between the beneficiary and service provider, if applicable.
  • Proof of payment of the relevant service provider bill. This includes a front/back copy of the cancelled check to the service provider and the beneficiary’s monthly bank statement.
  • A description of the beneficiary’s technology protection measure showing compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), if applicable. This could include the contract number for the technology protection measure or the type of software used.

USAC and the FCC started the PQA Program in order to demonstrate compliance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 (IPERA). As a federal agency program, USAC and the FCC are required to verify if disbursements made as part of the E-rate process were compliant with program rules. At this time it is unclear if any further changes will be made to the PQA process.

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