You have likely heard stories of the U.S.Government paying $400 for a hammer, two other agencies that paid $11 million to psychics who might provide unique insights about various foreign threats, and “anti-poverty” funds to help build a $1.2 million football stadium (https://fee.org/articles/most-outrageous-government-waste). These embarrassing stories abound, and no government agency wants to be exposed on the evening news for fraudulent waste and abuse of taxpayer money. The FCC is the Government agency responsible for the Erate program, and they do not play!
What Are PIA Reviews?
We know that you have dotted all of the I’s and crossed all of the T’s, and triple-checked your Form 471 before submitting it. However, Erate (Aka USAC) has reviewers that “check the information on your form for completeness and accuracy and may have additional questions for you to answer.” https://www.usac.org/e-rate/applicant-process/application-review
Don’t worry if you receive one or more of these PIA questions. Every Form 471 application is reviewed, and it is expected to receive follow-up documentation. If that is not possible, you can request an extension.
What Questions Will The PIA Review Ask?
Some of the different PIA review questions can include the following:
- Eligibility of the entities receiving service
- Eligibility of the services requested
- Discount calculations
- The competitive bidding process
- Student Count
- Make/Model of equipment requested and many more…
What Can You Do?
The best thing you can do to ensure timely approval of your Erate application is to submit it with all of the required information and respond to the PIA questions as soon as possible.
More articles in this series:
More Articles In This Series:
How To Conduct An Erate Needs Assessment
Program Integrity Assurance Review (PIA)
Post Erate Award Compliance