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2/15/2008 2:23:00 PM
USAC Weekly Update 2/11/08
Schools and Libraries News Brief February 15, 2008

TIP OF THE WEEK: Although you can submit RAL corrections through Submit a Question or by mail, we prefer that you fax them to (973) 599-6526. However, if PIA has already contacted you, submit your RAL corrections directly to your PIA reviewer.

Commitments for Funding Year 2007

Funding Year 2007. USAC will release FY2007 Wave 38 Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDLs) February 19. This wave will include commitments for approved Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance requests at 83% and above and denials at 79% and below. As of February 15, FY2007 commitments total just under $1.94 billion.

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

Submitting an Item 21 Attachment

The Item 21 Attachment is an important part of the Form 471. Applicants must file an Item 21 Attachment for each Form 471 Block 5 funding request to describe in detail the products and services featured on that request. Although an Item 21 Attachment can be submitted after the application filing window closes, it must be available to Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) before the review of an application can begin.

If your Funding Request Number (FRN) features Priority 1 services (Telecommunications Services or Internet Access), we suggest that you file your Item 21 Attachment online. To file online, go to the Apply Online page and click on the button in the Form 471 column marked "Item 21 Attachment." You will need the Form 471 application number and the security code you received when you filed your Form 471 online. To improve the performance of the network, be sure to clear the cache of your Internet browser (delete cookies and clear temporary Internet files) before you begin.

You may also wish to file online if you have an Internal Connections FRN with only a few products and/or services to enter.

If your Funding Request Number (FRN) features Priority 2 services (Internal Connections or Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections), it may be easier for you to submit your Item 21 Attachment by email, fax, or mail. If you use one of these filing methods, we suggest that you also submit a written quote or other documents that provide details of the products and/or services included. If the documents are in a small font or they contain detailed diagrams, please submit them by email rather than by fax to make them easier to review.

If you have a large, complex FRN for Telecommunications Services or Internet Access, you should also consider filing by email, fax, or mail.

If you file online, your entries only need to be descriptive enough (e.g., type of service, quantity, pricing, etc.) that PIA understands which products and services you are requesting.

If PIA requested a detailed bill for FY2007 and your services for FY2008 have not changed, we recommend that you do not file online but that you provide a recent copy of a detailed bill with your submission by email, fax, or mail. When you file online, the system will pull certain information – such as the category of service and dollar amounts – directly from your Form 471 Block 5 funding request. For example, if you click on the button on page 2 of 4 labeled "Click here to import cost information from your Form 471" the system will provide that information and warn you if it differs from the total on your Item 21 Attachment. (The button is located under the orange "Save" and "Cancel" buttons.) In many cases, you are also presented with drop-down lists or links to more information so that you can complete your entries more accurately. These features will help you make any necessary corrections and avoid errors.

You can print a summary or a detailed view of your Item 21 Attachment both before and after it is submitted. Remember, though, that you cannot make any edits after you have clicked the "Submit" button. If you need to make subsequent changes or provide additional information, you will have to submit those separately using one of the methods below. Make sure to mark a second submission as a "correction" or "addition" so that our review of your application includes all of the information you have supplied.

Note that you are not required to submit all of your Item 21 Attachments using the same method. You can submit the Item 21 Attachments for simple FRNs online and then use another method for more complex FRNs.

To submit your Item 21 Attachment, you can use any of the following methods: Email:

attachments@sl.universalservice.org eMail Fax: (973) 599-6511

Mail: SLD Forms
Form 471 - Item 21 Attachment
P.O. Box 7026
Lawrence, KS 66044-7026

Delivery service:

SLD Forms
ATTN: Form 471 - Item 21 Attachment
3833 Greenway Drive
Lawrence, KS 66046
TELEPHONE: 1-888-203-8100

For detailed guidance and examples of the information you should include, refer to the Item 21 Attachments guidance document.

The sooner you submit your Item 21 Attachment, the better. If you don't file online, it takes time for USAC to scan your submission and/or associate it with the correct Form 471. Make sure you provide the information requested – Form 471 application number, FRN, contact information, etc. – to ensure that USAC can process your Item 21 Attachment correctly and contact you if there are questions. You should also clearly identify any ineligible products and/or services and the costs associated with them.

If you wait until late in the process to submit the Item 21 Attachment, PIA may ask you for it even though you have already submitted it. Once PIA makes such a request, you will have 15 days to provide your Item 21 Attachment to PIA. If your PIA reviewer requests your Item 21 Attachment, you should send it directly to your reviewer rather than using one of the above submission methods.

Problem Resolution on Paper Forms and Certifications

While most applicants now submit and certify Forms 471 online, USAC still receives a number of paper forms and form certifications. USAC must successfully data enter these forms and certifications before PIA review can begin.

More than half of the forms and certifications we receive cannot be data entered without first going through problem resolution. Problem resolution identifies all of the fields or other entries that must be provided or corrected to complete data entry of the form. The most common problems we encounter are:

Missing entries - for example, the signature line is blank. Incorrect entries - for example, the Form 471 application number on a paper certification does not match an existing Form 471 for that funding year. Inconsistent entries - for example, a service in a funding request is identified as month-to-month but a contract expiration date is provided. Entries that differ from existing entries - for example, a certification box was checked when a form was filed online but the same box on the paper certification is not checked.

If necessary, the Client Service Bureau (CSB) will reach out to the applicant by following the procedure described in the document Deadline for Information Requests. The applicant's contact person should monitor the preferred mode of contact supplied on the form, as CSB will use that information first.

Once CSB has made a successful contact, the applicant has 15 days to supply any missing or incorrect information. If USAC does not receive a response – or receives only a partial response – within that 15-day period, USAC may be unable to completely data enter the form. This can result in modification, rejection, or denial of individual funding requests or of the entire form.

You may download and print copies of Schools and Libraries News Briefs on USAC’s website. You may subscribe to or unsubscribe from this news brief. For program information, please visit the Schools and Libraries area of the USAC website, submit a question, or call us toll-free at 1-888-203-8100. Feel free to forward this news brief to any interested parties.

Please do not reply to this email directly, as it was sent from an unattended mailbox.

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