USAC News and Tip of the Week – 4-8-2011

TIP OF THE WEEK: To check the status of your Form 471, use the Form 471 Application Status Tool. You can find information on using this tool and a description of Form 471 statuses in the April 1 SL News Brief.

Commitments for Funding Year 2010

Funding Year 2010. USAC will release FY2010 Wave 46 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) April 12. 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 April 8, FY2010 commitments total over $2.41 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.

Update on May Service Provider Training

Registration for the Atlanta training on Thursday, May 12 has closed. We will continue to work the existing waiting list as cancellations are received. Registration for the Los Angeles training on May 3 is still open and the waiting list is short, so please consider registering for that training if you have a choice.

You can register for the training and get hotel reservation information from the Upcoming Events section of the Trainings and Presentations page on the USAC website. Please email USAC if you have questions or need to cancel your registration. 

Highlights of the RAL Correction Process

After you have submitted and certified a 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 Form 471 and gives you an opportunity to submit corrections that are the result of ministerial and clerical errors. Examples of ministerial and clerical errors were included in the Ann Arbor Order, DA 10-2354 (released Dec. 16, 2010).

  • Note: If you submitted your Form 471 online in-window but did not certify it before the window closed, you can certify your form online or on paper and still have your form considered in-window. We will discuss the extended Form 471 certification deadline in a future issue of the SL News Brief. However, USAC will not issue a RAL until after the extended certification deadline has passed and we have modified the status of your form to “CERTIFIED – IN WINDOW.”

If you find that information on your RAL is incorrect, mark up a copy of your RAL as indicated in the instructions and submit your corrections to USAC. In addition to the instructions in the RAL, you can review the RAL guidance on the website for additional information.

Here are a few tips to help you with the RAL correction process:

Compare the data in your RAL and in the Form 471 Display with the data in your file copy of the 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 Form 471 Display 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 its accuracy.

  • 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. Note that the RAL correction process cannot be used to correct Billed Entity information.
  • If the incorrect information appears on the Form 471 Display but not on the RAL – for example, if the incorrect information is 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.

If you submit a RAL correction, make sure you supply all necessary information. You don’t need to include the first two pages of the letter or any pages of the letter that do not contain corrections. However, 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 Form 471 Display to print a copy.

Remember that not all errors can be corrected using the RAL correction process. For example, you cannot request corrections to the Billed Entity name and contact information. If this information has changed, you must contact the Client Service Bureau to make those changes in the database. Those changes will be reflected in program forms you file in the future.

Submit your RAL corrections as soon as possible. Near the top of the first page of the RAL, USAC identifies the deadline for submitting RAL corrections, which is 20 days after the date of the letter. It is to your advantage to submit RAL corrections as soon as possible so that we can make the changes and have accurate information when we begin your review.

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 a date.

Check 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.

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 category of service, contract award date, or contract expiration date – may require additional review and approval by USAC before they can be corrected. If you have the necessary information at hand, USAC can complete its review more quickly and determine if a change that must be reviewed is permitted under program rules.