Schools and Libraries News Brief May 27, 2011

May 27, 2011

TIP OF THE WEEK: Continue to monitor the preferred mode of contact (telephone, fax, or email) you indicated on your Form 471. PIA uses this information to contact you with requests for information on your application (see below for more information).

Commitments for Funding Year 2010

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 51 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) June 1. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 81% and above and denials at 79% and below. As of May 27, FY2010 commitments total over $2.51 billion.

On the day the FCDLs are mailed, you can check to see if you have a commitment by using USAC’s Automated Search of Commitments tool.

Fall 2011 Applicant Training Dates – Registration Reminder

USAC has already started waiting lists for three of the fall applicant training sessions. We will continue to work the waiting lists as we receive cancellations, so please email USAC Training if your plans change and you are unable to attend a session.

You can register and make hotel reservations by following the appropriate links on the Training Sessions and Presentations page on the USAC website.

City Date Hotel
* Washington, DC September 26 Renaissance Arlington Capital View
* Newark, NJ October 6 Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott
Minneapolis, MN October 10 Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America
Portland, OR October 13 Hilton Portland & Executive Tower
St. Louis, MO October 18 Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel
New Orleans, LA October 27 Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
* Los Angeles, CA November 1 Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel
Orlando, FL November 8 Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport

 * Waiting list started

Summer Period for Information Requests Begins Today

USAC has procedures to contact applicants and service providers if more information is necessary to process a form. These procedures are described in more detail in the Deadline for Information Requests guidance document on the USAC website. Below we discuss two of the most common situations where USAC needs more information:

  • Problem Resolution. If USAC cannot data enter a paper form because information is missing or inconsistent, Problem Resolution will attempt to reach the contact person listed on the form (or in our database, if no contact information is provided on the form) to obtain the necessary information.
  • Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review. If USAC needs more information from an applicant to complete the review of an application, a PIA initial reviewer will use the contact information provided on the form both to send questions and to inform the applicant of correctable errors discovered on the form during review.

In these situations, USAC’s customary procedure is as follows:

  • USAC uses your preferred mode of contact to send you questions and to request responses. For PIA review, if your preferred mode of contact is telephone, we will call you and request an email address or fax number in order to provide you with our questions in writing.
  • If we have not heard from you after seven days from our first attempt to contact you, we will attempt to contact you again and we will also inform your state E-rate coordinator that we are attempting to contact you.
  • If we have not heard from you after 15 days from our first attempt to contact you, we will use the information we have to complete processing of your application. For a paper form, this may mean that we will have to return the form to you without completing data entry. For a Form 471, this may mean that the funding you requested will be reduced or denied.

We realize that, during a summer period and a winter period each year, many applicants are unavailable due to extended holiday and break schedules. Problem Resolution or PIA will not continue the process described above during these periods unless we speak by telephone with the contact person or someone else who has been designated to respond to our questions.

  • Our summer period is defined as the Friday before Memorial Day through the Friday after Labor Day. For 2011, the dates of the summer period are May 27 through September 9.

If our first attempt to reach you is on or after May 27, and we cannot confirm by telephone that you are available to respond to our questions, we will not begin Problem Resolution or PIA review until after September 9.

However, if we have made a successful contact with you before May 27, your 15-day response clock has started and we will act on the information we have on hand if we have not heard from you by the response deadline. We define a successful contact as:

  • A sent email message with no return notification of non-delivery or out-of-office response or 
  • A sent fax with a confirmation of successful transmission or
  • A voicemail left at the contact person’s telephone number if the recorded greeting does not state that the contact person is out of the office or
  • A live person answering our call at the contact telephone number or a return call responding to our message.

If PIA has already contacted you and you wish to designate someone to answer questions in your absence, be sure to send your designee’s contact information to your PIA reviewer. If PIA has not contacted you and your designee will be checking your messages, be sure that you have provided written authorization for your designee to answer questions about your application. PIA will request this authorization in case any changes need to be made.

If you designate someone to answer questions in your absence, be sure that person has sufficient knowledge of your application to respond accurately. If someone answers a call from PIA but is not in a position to answer PIA questions, make sure the PIA reviewer understands that the review of your application should be put on hold until you return to the office.

NOTE: If you need to update the holiday/vacation/summer contact information you provided on your Form 471, refer to the May 20, 2011 SL News Brief.

Remember also that you can ask for more time to respond if you need it.