SLD News 3/29/13 – Focus: 471 RAL Corrections

March 29, 2013

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you do not have any corrections to your FCC Form 471, DO NOT submit a copy of your RAL to USAC. Submitting a RAL with no corrections delays the processing and review of your application.

Commitments for Funding Year 2012 and 2011

Funding Year 2012. USAC will release Funding Year (FY) 2012 Wave 37 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) April 2. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 90 percent and denials at 89 percent and below. As of March 29, FY2012 commitments total just under $2.05 billion.

Funding Year 2011. USAC will release FY2011 Wave 86 FCDLs April 3. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 88 percent and above and denials at 87 percent and below. As of March 29, FY2011 commitments total over $2.56 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. 

Correcting Errors Using Your RAL

After you have submitted and certified an FCC Form 471 and USAC has determined that the form is in-window, USAC will issue you a Receipt Acknowledgment Letter (RAL). This letter contains a summary of the data you reported on the FCC Form 471 and gives you an opportunity to submit corrections that are the result of ministerial and clerical errors.

  • Note: If you submitted your FCC Form 471 online in-window but did not certify it before the window closed, you should certify it as soon as possible so that it can still be considered in-window. We will discuss the extended certification deadline for online forms in a future issue of the SL News Brief. However, note that USAC does not issue a RAL for an uncertified form nor for a certified form considered to be out-of-window.

If you find that information on your RAL is incorrect and/or missing, mark up a copy of your RAL as indicated in the instructions and submit your corrections to USAC.

TIPS FOR RAL CORRECTIONS

1. Verify that you need to submit a correction.

First, compare the data in your RAL and in the Form 471 Display tool with the data in your file copy of the FCC Form 471 to make sure that all of your entries are correct. The RAL includes most of the entries currently in our system, but you must use the display tool to view the information in Block 4 worksheets. Because Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) uses all of this information in its review of your application, it is important that you verify the accuracy of your information.

  • If incorrect information appears on the RAL, you can line through the incorrect information and supply the correct information to the right of the incorrect entry.
  • If information is missing that should have been included on the FCC Form 471, you can write the missing information to the right of the appropriate field name, in the column on the RAL marked “Make Corrections Here.”
  • If the incorrect information appears on the Form 471 Display but not on the RAL – for example, if the incorrect information is contained in (or missing from) a Block 4 worksheet – follow the instructions in the RAL to correct that information.

If all of the information matches, DO NOT submit a RAL correction. Submitting a RAL with no corrections only delays the review of your application.

2. If you submit a correction, make sure your submission is complete and timely.

Mark up the copy of your RAL as indicated in the instructions in the RAL. Please make sure your corrections are legible.

  • To make corrections to a Block 4 worksheet, you will need to include a copy of the worksheet and/or a separate sheet listing entities to be added, deleted, or corrected. If you do not have a copy of the worksheet, you can use the display tool to print a copy.

You don’t need to include the first two pages of the RAL or any pages that do not contain corrections, but you must always include a signed copy of page 3 of your RAL, even if you are printing out and including other pages with corrections. We cannot process RAL corrections without a signature, printed name, title, contact information, and date.

Check also to make sure you have supplied current contact information. If we have questions about the information you submitted, we will attempt to contact you using the contact information you supplied at the top of page 3 of the RAL. Also, if you are submitting multiple pages, we suggest that you put identifying information – BEN, Form 471 Application Number, and contact person name and telephone number – at the top of each page.

You should submit RAL corrections as soon as you notice an error. Although you can submit corrections up until the time that USAC issues an FCDL, it is to your advantage for us to have your requested corrections in hand when we begin your review.

3. Be prepared to answer questions about your requested corrections.

In some cases, USAC may need to gather more information from you or perform some review work before a requested change can be made. For example, requests to correct some fields – such as the contract award date, contract expiration date, or the specific entries on a Block 4 worksheet – may require additional review by USAC to determine whether those changes are the result of ministerial or clerical errors. If you have the necessary information at hand, USAC can complete its review more quickly and determine if whether a correction is permitted under program rules.

Keep in mind, however, that not all errors can be corrected through the RAL process.

HOW USAC PROCESSES RAL CORRECTIONS

USAC receives RAL corrections by email (through Submit a Question), fax, and mail, and includes a copy of the corrected RAL in the documentation used in the PIA review process.

In general, USAC does not confirm receipt of a corrected RAL. However, if you use Submit a Question to submit your corrections, you will receive a confirmation by email with a case number. If you are contacted by a PIA initial reviewer, you can remind him or her that you have submitted RAL corrections. You can also submit corrections to your reviewer when you are contacted.

Your PIA reviewer may have additional questions about the corrections you requested (see above) and may ask you for additional information. If the corrections are allowable, your PIA reviewer will make them in the USAC system, but note that RAL corrections are not reflected in the original view of your application in the Form 471 Display tool.

When you receive your FCDL, you should review it for information on the corrections you requested.

  • If you did not request any RAL corrections, a comment to that effect will appear at the top of the Funding Commitment Report attached to the letter.
  • If the corrections you requested affected more than one Funding Request Number (FRN), a comment summarizing the actions taken will appear at the top of the Funding Commitment Report.
  • If the corrections you requested affected a single FRN, a comment summarizing the actions taken will appear at the top of the page for that FRN.

You should also review the “FCDL Comments” field for each FRN as it may contain additional information about your corrections.