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USAC Schools & Libraries Meeting Notes: April 27, 2015

On April 27, 2015 the USAC Schools & Libraries Committee held their quarterly board meeting and voted to give the SLD authority to the make commitments for Category One and Category Two Services at all discount levels.  For only the third time in program history, every Form 471 application that is compliant with E-rate rules will receive a funding commitment.  

The FCC’s 7th Report & Order directed the SLD to release commitments for all “workable” Form 471 applications by September 1.  The USAC Schools & Libraries Committee discussed that “workable” will be defined as neither the applicant nor service provider having any involvement in an E-rate project is under a heightened level of scrutiny for waste, fraud or abuse.  Further, it was discussed that an application will be “workable” unless there is “…no clear path for the SLD to take…”  Most applications will not fall under this definition should therefore receive a commitment by September 1, 2015.  The SLD is committed to meeting the September 1 deadline laid out by the FCC, and will reassess in June and July whether or not they need to reallocate resources to meet that goal.

The Board also discussed the following issues:

  • The Committee reorganized their leadership positions and Julie Tritt, an E-rate consultant, was voted to be the new Committee Chair. Dr. Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, will be the new Vice Chair;
  • The Committee approved the minutes from the January 26, 2015 and March 9, 2015 meeting;
  • The Committee approved the Schools and Libraries Support Mechanism 3rd Quarter 2015 Programmatic Budget of $14 million;
  • The Committee approved the Demand Projection for the May 1 2015 FCC Filing;
  • The Committee approved three USAC Internal Audit Division Schools and Libraries Support Mechanism Beneficiary Audit Reports.  USAC may seek recovery of approximately $245,000 based on the results of the audits.  The auditors concluded that one of the beneficiaries provided insufficient documentation to support the amount disbursed.  The auditors found that another of the beneficiaries invoiced the SLD for ineligible entities and the auditors concluded competitive bidding violations occurred from one of the beneficiaries as well;
  • The new IT infrastructure worked “perfectly” and there were no interruptions or slow downs in the new online Form 471 system.  The SLD tested the IT system ahead of time to determine that 5,000 users could be on the online Form 471 simultaneously with no issues;
  • The SLD has already begun creating the new applicant portal that should be ready to be released in summer 2016.

Note: The information above are not the official minutes from the meeting, but simply notes from Funds For Learning. The official minutes for this meeting, as well as minutes from previous meetings, can be found here.

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