Sept. 7th SLD News Briefs – Fall training reminder

TIP OF THE WEEK: The summer deferral period for application review and problem resolution ends today (see below). If USAC put the review or the processing of your program form on hold because we were unable to reach you during the summer, be prepared to respond to questions when USAC resumes its attempts to contact you.

Commitments for Funding Years 2012 and 2011

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release FY2012 Wave 10 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) September 11. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90% and denials at 89% and below. As of September 7, FY2012 commitments total just under $1.07 billion.

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 60 FCDLs September 12. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 88% and above and denials at 87% and below. As of September 7, FY2011 commitments total over $2.36 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. 

SL News Brief Starts Its Eighth Year

Welcome to the eighth year of the Schools and Libraries News Brief. We will continue to provide you with up-to-the-minute news on developments in the Schools and Libraries program along with guidance materials that will help both applicants and service providers through the application process.

We email SL News Briefs to subscribers on Fridays. If you are not receiving your own copy of the SL News Brief, we encourage you to subscribe. You can view previous issues by topic or by date on the Schools and Libraries News Brief page, and print a copy of any issue you missed.

Fall Training Update

The Minneapolis training session still has space available; the other seven sessions are closed or have gone to waiting lists. If you registered for more than one session, please cancel any registration you will not be using to open a space for someone from the waiting list for that session.

Remember also that you must make a room reservation if you want to stay at the conference hotel. The table below shows the last day to make a reservation at the negotiated conference room rate. Rooms may not be available – or may be more expensive – if you try to make a reservation after these dates. 

City Conference Hotel Reservation Deadline
Washington DC Renaissance Arlington Capital View September 10
Dallas TX Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel September 17
St. Louis MO Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel September 24
Atlanta GA Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel September 26
Newark NJ Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott September 28
Minneapolis MN Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America October 1
Portland OR Hilton Portland & Executive Tower September 28
Los Angeles CA Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel October 16

 

If you have questions or wish to cancel your reservation, please email USAC.

Summer Contact Procedure Ends Today

USAC has procedures to contact applicants and service providers if more information is necessary to process or review a form. We realize that, during a summer period and a winter period each year, many applicants are unavailable due to extended holiday and break schedules.

If USAC was unable to contact you during the summer deferral period, we put your form on hold and will resume our attempts to contact you starting Monday.

  • Our summer deferral period is defined as the Friday before Memorial Day through the Friday after Labor Day. This year, the dates of the summer period are May 25, 2012 through September 7, 2012.

In general, there are two situations when USAC requests additional 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 any 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 our processing. For a paper form, this may mean that we will have to return the form to you without completing data entry. For an application, this may mean that the funding you requested will be reduced or denied.

If our first attempt to reach you was on or after May 25, and we could not confirm by telephone that you were available to respond to our questions, we will resume Problem Resolution or PIA review starting September 10. However, if we made a successful contact with you before May 25, your 15-day response clock started and we may have acted on the information we had on hand if we did not hear from you by the response deadline.

If you designated someone to answer questions in your absence, please review any communications between that person and USAC that occurred while you were away. Also, check to see if USAC has issued you an FCDL or if PIA questions are still pending.

If the review of your application is still in process, remember that you can ask for more time to respond if you cannot meet the customary 15-day deadline.

Looking Ahead

In the next several weeks, the SL News Brief will be devoted to a detailed discussion of the various activities applicants and service providers should be undertaking to finish up program activities for FY2011 and any activities that can be started or completed for FY2012. Following that, we will provide suggestions and reminders about getting ready for the FY2013 application filing window.

Now would be a good time to start gathering up documents that will allow you to easily and correctly complete invoicing activities for any previous funding years. Examples of these documents include customer bills, descriptions of service, invoices already submitted for the funding year, BEAR Notification Letters, and Quarterly Disbursement Reports. In addition, you should start collecting important documentation before it gets lost or misplaced. The E-rate Binder on the USAC website contains a suggested list and organizational format that should help you comply with the program’s five-year documentation retention requirement.