The latest from SLD – Dec. 23, 2010

TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t forget the January 28, 2011 invoicing deadline for FY2009 non-recurring services. If you cannot meet that deadline and you still intend to invoice USAC, you should file an invoicing deadline extension request if your deadline has not already been extended.

Commitments for Funding Years 2010 and 2009

 Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 32 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) December 28. This wave includes commitments for approved Priority 2 (Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance) requests at 81% and above. As of December 23, FY2010 commitments total over $1.98 billion.

Funding Year 2009. USAC will release FY2009 Wave 77 FCDLs December 29. This wave will include commitments for approved Priority 2 requests at 77% and above and denials at 76% and below. As of December 23, FY2009 commitments total over $2.79 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.

Winter Contact Procedure in Effect Until January 7, 2011

USAC has procedures to contact applicants and service providers if more information is necessary to process a form. 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 any correctable errors discovered on the form during review.

We realize that, during a summer period and a winter period each year, many applicants are unavailable due to extended holiday and break schedules.

Our winter period is defined as the Friday before Christmas Day through the Friday after New Year’s Day. For 2010, the dates of the winter period are December 17, 2010 (due to the Friday, December 24 federal holiday) through January 7, 2011.

If our first attempt to reach you is on or after December 17, 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 January 7. However, if we have made a successful contact with you before December 17, 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 A sent fax with a confirmation of successful transmission 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 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 application review should be put on hold until you return to the office. Remember also that you can ask for more time to respond if you need it.