Presentation on theme: "E-Rate for Tennessee Intermediate/Advanced Applicants"— Presentation transcript:
1E-Rate for Tennessee Intermediate/Advanced Applicants Presented by:Kim FriendsState E-Rate Coordinatorfor the Tennessee Department of Education
2Agenda General Information E-rate Technology Planning Discount Calculations/StrategiesEligible ServicesForms 470/471Procurement/Competitive BiddingProgram Compliance and UpdatesE-rate Gift RulesPost-Commitment Processes2
3The Role of TN Dept. of EdTDoE has no statutory authority to administer the federal E-Rate programTDoE only provides general information about the E-Rate program including: training and outreach, reference materials, and other publicly available SLD/USAC resources
4What is Kim’s Role?Contracted with by TDoE to serve as TN State E-rate CoordinatorProvide outreach and training to applicants in TNRepresent TN before federal policymakersMaintain TN E-rate website and listserveAct as resource when E-rate administrator can’t help
7Purpose of the Tech Plan Tech plans ensure that schools and libraries are prepared to effectively use the requested services to integrate telecommunications and internet access into the educational program or library services that they provide to students.7
8Technology Plan Review ONLY required if applying for Priority 2 fundingPlan must include four SLD technology plan criteriaGoals and Strategies for using technologyNeeds AssessmentProfessional DevelopmentEvaluationMust align with funding requestsMust be “written” before 470 is filedBe sure to document the existence of this draft planMust cover full 12 months of upcoming funding year (include dates!)3 year maximum
9“Must Do” Reminders Must be “Written” prior to posting Form 470: It must be documented that it is written before the posting of the form 470! (Applicant must document the existence of this plan, i.e., with plan attached, memo from cabinet level about the plan being written, including the date. “DATE STAMP”)Must include a sufficient level of detail and cover all services (priority 2) for which E-Rate discounts are being sought on the Form 470(s) and subsequent Form 471(s).Must be approved by the start of services (July 1) or the filing of Form 486, whichever is earlierE-rate Tech Plans must be approved by a “USAC Certified Technology Plan Approver” see USAC link:Must include all four required elements (as noted previously)9
10Additional RemindersService Providers may not act as technology plan approvers, write/create, or assist in the tech plan in any capacity (except as offering technology/provider neutral information only)Remember to include in your tech plan all the services that you apply for on Form 470/471, required for Priority 2 – (Internal connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections)10
11Additional RemindersThere are some ‘non-starters’ that will require revision (even to draft plans)If your dates have not been changed throughout the entire document to reflect the period for which the draft is being written, revisions will be requiredThe TDoE and my office will be presenting a Technology Planning workshop toward the end of January, 2013 to help those of you who actually need your plans APPROVED before July 1, 2013.Stand by for details11
12Tech Plan Help and Approval your questions/concerns to the TennSEC office at oryour draft plans for verification of receipt and review in anticipation of approval.Tech Plan approval letters will be issued from the TN State E-Rate Coordinator’s Office.12
13Questions?Add Slide of WHAT is E-rate, change the title of this slide back. FCC makes the rules and Regulations, add that.13
15Calculating Your Discount Schools/School DistrictsCalculate the discount rate for each individual schoolSchool District average = weighted average of the schoolsMultiply E-Rate discount by total student population of the school to get weighted productAdd all weighted products and divide by total students in school districtDiscounts are based on schools actually receiving services in the FRN (may not be all schools in the district)
16Calculating Your Discount – Using the Matrix INCOME Measured by % of students eligible for NSLPURBAN LOCATION DiscountRURAL LOCATION DiscountIf the % of students in your school that qualifies for the NSLP......and you are in an URBAN area, your discount will be......and you are in a RURAL area, your discount will be...Less than 1%20%25%1% to 19%40%50%20% to 34%60%35% to 49%70%50% to 74%80%75% to 100%90%
17Calculating Your Discount Calculate the discount rate for each individual schoolSchool District average = weighted average of the schoolsMultiply E-Rate discount by total student population of the school to get weighted productAdd all weighted products and divide by total students in school districtDiscounts are based on schools actually receiving services in the FRN (may not be all schools in the district)
18Calculating Your Discount – Individual School Individual School uses straight Discount from Matrix
19School District Discounts – the “Weighted” discount Weighted Average of Individual School DiscountsNote: NIFs use the weighted average discountof the schools they are serving
20Calculating Your Discount Non-Instructional Facilities (NIFs)NIFs on the campus of single school/library and that serve only that entity, get the discount of that school/library (Separate entity number necessary only if located at a different physical address)NIFs that serve multiple schools/libraries, and without classrooms or public areas, get shared discount for the school district/library systemNIFs that serve multiple schools and with classrooms use the snapshot method to get discountSnapshot method: Choose a specific day and determine the NSLP eligibility of the student population that is in class on that dayDOCUMENT your process
21Please refer to exercise Kim is showing Calculating Your Discount - StrategyPlease refer to exercise Kim is showing
22Alternative Discount Mechanisms NSLP eligibility based on student’s family being at or below 185% of federal poverty levelsIncome Eligibility Guidelines (IEG) published annually by U.S. Department of AgricultureOther alternative discount methodologies seek to determine if a student meets the NSLP IEG threshold
23Alternative Discount Mechanisms Acceptable MechanismsPrograms that meet the IEG threshold for the NSLP:MedicaidFood stamps (SNAP)Supplementary Security Income (SSI)Section 8 Housing AssistanceLow Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)Food Distribution Program on Indian ReservationsUnacceptable MechanismsPrograms that do not meet the IEG threshold for the NSLP:Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF)Title 1Scholarship programs
24Alternative Discount Mechanisms Sibling MatchIf school can establish that one sibling in a family is eligible for NSLP, then it can count the other siblings in the same family as eligible for NSLP even if the other siblings do not participate .
25Alternative Discount Methods SurveysMust be sent to all families whose children attend the schoolSurveys must contain at least student and family name, size of family, income level of family or acceptable alternative mechanismSurveys are valid for two yearsNSLP application forms are never an acceptable survey instrument
26Calculating Your Discount (Advanced) Use the survey method Can conduct family survey even if your school participates in NSLPMust survey all families in the schoolIf more than 50% of surveys are returned, survey is considered valid and results may be extrapolated for entire schoolKeep careful documentationBeneficial for both public and nonpublic schools seeking fundingUse common sense when deciding whether to try to utilize the survey method
27Alternative Discount Methods Survey ExtrapolationIf a survey is sent to all households of its students, andIf at least 50% of surveys are returnedSchool may extrapolate the data to 100% of its studentsExample:100 families received the survey; 75 returned them25 of the 75 families are eligible for NSLP25/75 = 0.33School can report 33% of all students are eligible
28Alternative Discount Methods Combining Alternative Discount MethodsEnsure that the same students are not double counted.Surveys cannot be combined with other alternative discount methods if you have extrapolatedProvisions 1-4 cannot be combined with other alternative discount methods since they include extrapolationKeep detailed records to show that the same students were not double counted
29Alternative Discount Methods Unacceptable Alternative Discount Calculation MethodsFeeder School MethodExtrapolating from elementary to secondary schoolsPrincipal’s Survey/EstimateBased on administrators’ knowledge of some of their studentsTitle I eligibility aloneNeighborhood poverty measurements
30Questions?Add Slide of WHAT is E-rate, change the title of this slide back. FCC makes the rules and Regulations, add that.30
31Eligible Services List (ESL) Intermediate/Advanced PresentationEligible Services List (ESL)
32New for 2013/2014FCC changed their rule regarding designation of service for Telecommunications and/or Internet Access (P1) to indicate that the applicant is only required to check one of the two boxes on Form 470 as long as the services requested are described in sufficient detail to allow prospective service providers. Updated forms for next year expected to indicate only a single category of service as “Priority One”.
33Priority One Telecommunications Services Local, long distance, cellular phone service and pagingIncludes voice mail and custom calling featuresCentrex, hosted VOIP phone serviceBroadband services (WAN services)T-1, PRI, Frame Relay, ISDN, leased lit and dark fiber*, etc.Installation of eligible telecom servicesIf installation is included on your applicationMost taxes and surchargesTelecommunications services must be provided by an Eligible Telecommunications Provider (ETP)Exception: Hosted VOIP and Fiber WAN services can be provided by non-ETP
34Priority One Not Eligible as Telecom Services Broadcast “Blast” messagingMonitoring services for 911, E911 or alarm telephone linesServices to ineligible locationsEnd-user devicesCell phone, tablet computers
35Priority One Internet Access (IA) Support for IA includes Internet Service Provider (ISP) fees as well as the conduit to the InternetOther eligible IA services include:serviceWireless Internet accessInterconnected VoIPBasic Web hosting
36Priority One Not eligible as Internet Access Costs for Internet contentSubscription services such as monthly charges for on-line magazine subscriptionsInternet2 membership duesWeb site creation feesWeb based curriculum softwareSoftware, services or systems used to create or edit Internet content
37Interconnected VoIP (aka Hosted VoIP) Defined as a service thatEnables real-time, two-way voice communications.Requires a broadband connection from the user’s location.Requires Internet protocol-compatible customer premises equipment (CPE).Permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.
38Interconnected VoIP Priority One Services May be applied for in either Telecommunications or Internet Access on Form 470.The Form 471 application category of service selection will be decided by the type of provider, whether ETC or not.
39Priority Two Internal Connections Support for equipment and cabling on-site that transport information to classrooms or public rooms of a librarySubject to the Two-in-Five RuleEntities can only receive funding every two out of five years
41Priority Two Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections Support for basic maintenance of eligible internal connections (BMIC) such as:Repair and upkeep of hardwareWire and cable maintenanceBasic tech supportConfiguration ChangesAgreements or contracts MUST state the eligible components covered, make, model and locationService must be delivered within the funding yearJuly 1 – June 30Two-in-Five Rule does not apply to BMIC
42Priority Two BMIC Updated Guidance Standard manufacturer warranties of no more than three years remain eligible as long as it is provided as BUNDLED (included) with the purchase of the device.If there is a line item cost associated with the warranty, then the warranty is not eligibleSupport for BMIC for hardware is limited to actual work performed under the contract
43Priority Two BMIC Updated Guidance Applicants may make estimates based on:Hours per year of maintenanceHistory of needed repairs and upkeepAge of eligible internal connectionsApplicants using the factors listed above must submit a bona fide requestIt is not reasonable to estimate an amount that would cover the full cost of every piece of eligible equipment.
44Priority Two BMIC Updated Guidance Flat rate contracts may be eligible however, applicants may only invoice for services actually delivered/work performed.Exceptions that will not require demonstration that work was performed are:Software upgrades and patchesBug fixes and security patchesOnline and telephone based technical support
45Equipment Transfers Equipment transfer rules A transfer may occur three years or more after the purchase of the equipment to other eligible entitiesNo equipment transfer may occur prior to three years from the date of installation, unless the eligible entity is permanently or temporarily closing
46Equipment Transfers Equipment transfers less than 3 years Notify USAC Both the closing entity and the recipient must retain records of the transactionInclude the reason for the transferRecords must be kept for five years after the date of the transferRecords for equipment transferred after >3 years follow the traditional document retention requirements
47Disposal of Equipment Disposal of Equipment Rules As of January 3, 2011, applicants can dispose of obsolete equipment, but no sooner than five years after the date the equipment is installedResale for payment or other consideration is allowable no sooner than five years after the equipment is installedResale or disposal is prohibited before the five years have passed.
48Trade-ins and Exchanges Trade-ins of equipment may be permitted if the E-rate funded equipment to be traded in has been installed for at least five yearsThis limitation does not apply for equipment not funded through E-rateValue of trade-in does not have to be ‘shared’ with USAC.
49Questions?Add Slide of WHAT is E-rate, change the title of this slide back. FCC makes the rules and Regulations, add that.49
51Form 470 – Starts Competitive Bidding Makes yourselves familiar with eligible services and various categories of service“Service or Function”MUST provide enough detail to encourage service providers to bidBroaden scope – plan for growth or reduction in number of eligible entities or bandwidth or number of linesAny limiting or disqualification factors related to bidding should be identified unless on RFP
52Killer Gotcha’s = Funding DENIAL Did not identify the correct service category on Form 470Mostly relates to P2 services now.Hint: Always indicate BMIC when asking for ICIf you indicate that you don’t have an RFP when you really do have one, and vice-versa
54Fair and Open Competitive Bidding is a Program Requirement Avoid conflicts of interestsIndependent Consultant vs. Service ProviderApplicant vs. Service ProviderFollow and UNDERSTAND the rules – FCC, State and localBoard PolicyTennessee State Bidding rules and regulationsMaster ContractsConsortium ContractsDocument the process!!!
55Competitive Bidding Service providers CANNOT: Help prepare the Form 470Help write or provide a RFP to applicantBe a contact person on Form 470Sign any applicant formsBe involved with bid development or evaluation in any wayProvide funding for the applicant's non-discount portion or waive the applicant's non-discount portionCoerce or pressure the applicant to use a specific service providerProvide gifts to applicants that violate the gift restrictions
56Competitive Bidding Service providers CAN: Offer neutral technical assistance on development of technology planCannot exert undue influence on applicant's ability to conduct a fair and open competitive biddingAnswer general questions about the products and services they sell in response to applicant inquiriesOnce a contract has been signed, provide information to applicants to assist with responding to USAC questions regarding their application/funding requests(s)Provide assistance with service substitutions and other post-commitment activities
57Competitive Bidding Applicants CANNOT: Have a relationship with service providers that would unfairly influence the outcome of the competitionFurnish service providers with inside competitive informationHave ownership interest in a service provider’s company competing for servicesViolate gifting rules
58Competitive Bidding Applicants can: Have pre-bidding discussions with potential bidders as long as that doesn’t lead to one bidder having “inside” informationAttend product demonstrationsEncourage and seek vendors to bidDo research to determine what cost-effective solutions are available (in a service provider or manufacturer neutral manner)
59FCC Form 470 & RFPsFCC rules refer to RFPs generically but they may have a variety of names (Request for Quotes, Request for Bids)FCC rules do not require RFP but state and local procurement rules mayMust be available to bidders for at least 28 days (we recommend 29 days) from the posting of whichever is released last, the RFP or the Form 470Retain a copy of the RFP, including evidence of publication date and any solicitationMUST indicate any special requirements and/or disqualification factors
60FCC Form 470 & RFPsApplicants must ensure that they post for the correct category or categories of service (Non-allowable M&C correction.)Does not apply for Priority One services for 2013 and beyondSufficient detail in FCC Form 470Cannot provide generic descriptions (e.g., “All eligible telecom services” or “Digital Transmission Services”)Cannot provide laundry lists of products and servicesAddendums or changes to the RFP may require applicants to re-start the 29 day period when there is a significant change to the original scope of the procurement
61FCC Form 470 & RFPs Imposing Restrictions Setting eligible services requirementsApplicants may require service providers to provide services that are compatible with one kind of system over another (e.g., Cisco compatible).Applicants cannot state make and model on FCC Form 470 or RPF, but may state equivalent make & model (e.g., “IBM router 628 or equal functionality”)
62Vendor Selection Bid Evaluation Vendor selection criteria MUST be posted with the RFPVendor evaluation begins after 29-day waiting periodFollow your vendor selection criteriaPrice of the eligible goods and services must be the criteria given the highest allowable point valueOther factors, including other price factors, can be considered as well but they cannot be weighted equally or higher than cost of the eligible goods and services
63Price of the ELIGIBLE goods and services Competitive BiddingSample Bid Evaluation MatrixFactorPoints AvailableVendor 1Vendor 2Vendor 3Price of the ELIGIBLE goods and services301525Prior experience w/ vendor20Prices for ineligible services, products & FeesFlexible Invoicing: 472 or 474Environmental objectives10532Total100606387
64Vendor Selection Selecting the Winning Bidder Solution must be cost-effectiveAn existing contract can be used as a bid response to your posted FCC Form 470Post 470, evaluate all bids & existing contract, memorialize your decision if existing contract is selected – BE CAREFUL, A NEW CONTRACT MAY BE REQUIRED, EVEN FROM EXISTING VENDORNo bids or one bid ( yourself noting the fact)Retain all vendor selection documentationWinning and losing bids, correspondences, memos, bid evaluation documents, etc.
65Avoid Sham Bidding Must respond to all legitimate inquiries You do not have to respond to SPAM s or s that do not reference any specific service or product that you’ve requestedProviders that feel they are being ‘stonewalled’ may contact USAC for assistanceCost to transfer to another provider alone is not by itself a good enough reason to stay with incumbentAvoid appearances of a “done deal”Don’t post for something you don’t wantIf plans change, have a plan to communicate with potential bidders
66Vendor Selection Free Services Can’t use E-Rate to get free ineligible products and servicesMust deduct the value of the “free stuff,” discounts, trade-ins, etc., from the pre-discount amount in order get equal comparison between offeringsCost allocation is NOT required when the product/service (e.g., “free” cell phones) is available to the public or a class of subscribers (not just E-Rate)End user handsets and softphones are currently not eligibleBe wary of vendors that try to bundle this equipment in their proposals – the FCC still hasn’t ruled officially on this open itemCost of eligible goods and services cannot be inflated to cover the “free” ineligible products and services
67ContractsMust be signed AFTER at least 29 days have elapsed but BEFORE you file your Form 471Must be signed and dated by applicant at a minimumREAD AND UNDERSTAND THE FINE PRINT!Allow enough time to take contracts to Board for approval (if required by Board policy)Be prepared to explain documents that don’t look like a traditional contract.
68Questions?Add Slide of WHAT is E-rate, change the title of this slide back. FCC makes the rules and Regulations, add that.68
70Form 471 – Your Application for Discounts Must be filed every funding yearThis is your actual request for fundingThis is where you specify…Who, What, Where, When, & HowWHO: Service providers chosenWHAT: Services being requestedWHERE: Service Delivery locationsWHEN: Dates for servicesHOW: Costs for services and terms
71Form 471 – Your Application for Discounts Include ALL NIFS that will be receiving discounted servicesSeparate Priority 1 and Priority 2 services on two different Forms 471Separate Recurring from Non-Recurring chargesRecurring – Block 5, Question “C”.Non-Recurring – Block 5, Question “H”.Contract expiration date for non-recurring services - September 30 (coincides with default deadline for delivery of services for non-recurring charges)
72Priority Two Filing Strategies Form 471 – Your Application for FundsPriority Two Filing StrategiesCreate multiple Block 4s to identify different groups of sites.Create multiple Forms 471 for widely varying discountsi.e. – one Form 471 for 80% and one for 90%
73Potential Funding “Deal Breakers” DON’T file Priority One and Priority Two funding requests on the same Form 471DON’T forget to wait at least 29 days after any mandatory processes associated with your competitive bidding before selecting a service provider or signing any contractsDON’T submit your Form 471 BEFORE signing all related contractsDON’T forget to CERTIFY your submitted application (whether electronic or paper certification)
74Item 21 AttachmentMUST be submitted by the end of the Form 471 filing windowAvoid TMI (Too Much Information) Syndrome – PIA will thank youRemove ineligible costs – be careful30% rule –30% or more of funding request dollar value cannot be for ineligible products and services. the entire request may be denied unless…it can be rectified during your PIA process: Remove it-Split it up- separate FRNIf possible, work with service provider(s) to create your Item 21 attachment(s)
75Questions?Add Slide of WHAT is E-rate, change the title of this slide back. FCC makes the rules and Regulations, add that.75
76Application Review & FCDL Be Responsive to PIA reviewerAnswer all PIA reviewer questionsEstablish a working relationship with PIA reviewerRequest additional time if you need it to respondWhen you do receive your FCDL, review it thoroughlyYou have 60 days from date of FCDL to submit an appeal if you do not agree with the funding decision(s).
77Program Updates and Compliance Intermediate/AdvancedPresentationProgram Updates and Compliance77
78Document Retention Retain Documents to Show Compliance 5 years from last date to receive service in electronic format or paperAny document from a prior year that supports current year must be kept for at least 5 years from last date to receive serviceE.g., Contract from 2005, used to support FY 2012 recurring service FRNs, must be kept until at least June 30, 2018Applicants & service providers must retain ALL documentation that shows compliance with all FCC rules.
79Document Retention Retain Documents to Show Compliance Consultant authorization such as Letter of AgencyDocument Examples, e.g.:Competitive Bidding Documents – include all bids winning and losingCompliance review documents (PIA, TPA, CIPA, Invoice)Invoices, bills, contractsAsset registries, inventory logsNSLP discount documentation (including NSLP applications, etc.)Technology plans in effect for each Funding YrNOTE: See complete list on USAC website
802-in-5 Year RuleAn entity may only receive discounts 2 out of every 5 years for internal connectionsDoesn’t include basic maintenanceApplies at the building level, not district levelIf central equipment is purchased for NOC, each building receiving benefit of that equipment receives a strikePlan accordingly to maximize discounts“Strikes” related to funding commitment (FCDL), not 471 or invoicesCan cancel FRN to get strike (year) back, but not after funding has been disbursedHint: Don’t use a strike (year) for a $500 piece of equipment
81Will P2 Be Available in FY 2013? Let’s look at FY 2012$2,290,683,250 availableDemand for Priority 1 (telecom and Internet) was $2.444 billionan increase of 12.5% from last yearDemand for Priority 2 (internal connections) at 90% discount level was $1.379 billionAll P1 and 90% P2 funded with unprecedented rolloverIf P1 grows again by 12.5%, P1 demand will be $2.737 billionVery little rollover funds remainNo certainty as to the availability of P2 funding in 2013
82Should You Apply for P2 Funding? Year 1 -- funded to 70%Year 2 – all fundedYear 3 – down to 82%Year 4 – down to 87%Year 5 – down to 81%Year 6 – down to 70%Year 7 – down to 81%Year 8 – down to 80%Year 9 – down to 86%Year 10 – down to 81%Year 11 – down to 87%FY 2009 – down to 77%FY all fundedFY2011 – down to 88%FY 2012 – down to 90% (barely)
83Funding Predictions for FY 2013 P1: Enough funding should be available to fund all P1 requestsP2: It is doubtful that all 90% P2 requests will be funded, at least not without pro-rationFY 2014? Will enough funding beavailable to pay for Priority 1 requests without proration?
84What is Proration?The rules of the E-Rate program have provisions to ‘pro-rate’ funding approval in the event there is not enough money to fund all of the valid requestsThis is already being done in the P2 category when the FCC ‘cuts off’ funding at a certain discount level when there is not enough money to fund an entire discount band“Proration” in this context means that it is likely there will not be enough money to fund even all of the 90% requestsThe FCC will authorize USAC to fund a commensurate portion of each of the requestsFor example, if 40% of funding is available to fund all of the 90% requests, then applicants will be approved for 40% of their entire funding request$10, requested = $4, funded
85What is Proration?The more concerning/alarming possibility is a proration of P1 requestsBased on the rules, if there is not enough money available to fund even all of the P1 requests, then the FCC will use same model as has been used for P2 threshold determination and will apply that theory to P1Long story short…without swift and substantive change to the program (either by cap increase or other administrative adjustments), applicants in the lower discounts bands (<50% weighted discount) may see zero E-Rate funding
86How Will This Problem Get Fixed? FCC currently wrestling with this issuePossible solutions could include:INCREASING THE CAPRemoving certain services from the eligible services listConsider what this would mean if voice services were no longer eligibleAdjusting the discount matrix to decrease each discount level by 5 or 10%Find other funding sources to add to E-rateRequiring ISPs and IC vendors to pay into fundAssessing contributions differently
87Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Intermediate/AdvancedPresentationChildren’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)87
88New for Funding Year 2012 New requirements under CIPA SCHOOLS – By July 1, 2012, you should have amended your existing Internet safety policy to provide for the education of minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.Overall - several existing statutory requirements were codified and others have been clarified.
89CIPA - FCC Report and Order Additional Information on New RequirementsNew requirements come from the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, which updated the Children’s Internet Protection Act.Internet safety policies for schools must have been updated on or before July 1, 2012 to provide for:The education of minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat roomsCyberbullying awareness and response
90CIPA - FCC Report and Order Additional Information on New Requirements“Social networking” and “cyberbullying” are not defined, nor are specific procedures or curricula detailed for schools to use in educating studentsCongress’ intent is that local authorities should make decisions in this area.FCC recently issued some clarifying guidance regarding what the expectations are as to how often students should be educated and some loose guidelines regarding documenting proof of the educationResources are available to assist in this process if needed – e.g., OnGuard Online.gov, FBI and the Google project (see TN E-Rate website for specific URL information)
91More “user friendly” processes Corrections of Ministerial & Clerical Errors15 Day Rule eliminated (CORRECTIONS ONLY)RNL & RAL corrections can be submitted until the FCDL is issuedPIA will ask if this is a ministerial or clerical errorTell us what error occurredProvide a reasonable explanationDocumentation may be requested
92Ministerial/Clerical Errors Some allowable corrections Using wrong Form 470 number or wrong billed entity numberUsing wrong name or service provider identification number (SPIN)Using wrong expiration date for a contractRequesting recurring service when the service is one time chargeRequesting one time service when the service is recurringInaccurately reporting the pre-discount amount on Block 5Leaving off a building from Block 4Referring to wrong Block 4 worksheet for a funding requestListing wrong service category in Block 5Simple math errorsFailing to enter an item from the source list (e.g., NSLP data, uploading Block 4 data, FRN, etc.)
93New starting in 2011 Operational SPIN Changes Starting with FY 2011 FRNs, Operational SPIN change requests can be approved when there is a legitimate reason to change providers (e.g., breach of contract or the service provider is unable to perform)Operational SPIN changes will not be approved:to purchase a service or product for a cheaper price orbecause of preference for a bidder that didn’t participate in or win the competitive bidding process
94New for Funding Year 2011 Operational SPIN Changes (cont’d) Operational SPIN Change RequestThe newly selected vendor must receive the next highest point value in the original bid evaluation if more than one vendor submitted a bidYou can select a vendor without conducting another competitive bid if only one bid was receivedYou must state your reason for the requestIndicate the new SPIN start date and funding amount and the former SPIN end date and funding amount
96E-rate Gift Rules Gift Rules Solicitation or receipt of gifts by applicants from service providers and potential service providers and vice versa is a competitive bidding violation.Rules apply to everyone participating in the E-rate whether public or private, and whether operating at the local, state or federal level.Must always follow FCC rules. May also need to comply with additional state/local requirements. If those provisions are more stringent than federal requirements, failure to comply with them will be a violation of FCC rules.
97E-rate Gift Rules Gift Prohibitions Gift prohibitions are applicable year-round, not just during the competitive bidding processProhibition including soliciting and receiving any gift or thing of value from an applicant or a service provider participating in, or seeking to participate in the E-rate.Service providers may not offer or provide any gifts to applicant personnel involved in the E-rate or vice versa.
98E-rate Gift Rules Gift Rule Exceptions “Modest refreshments not offered as part of a meal, items with little intrinsic value intended for presentation, and items worth $20 or less, including meals, may be offered or provided , and accepted by any individuals or entities subject to this rule, if the value of these items received by any individual does not exceed $50 from one service provider per funding year.” See 47 C.F.R. § (d)(1).Single source = all employees, officers, representatives, agents, contractors, or directors of the service provider.
99E-rate Gift Rules Gift Rule Exceptions Examples A Service Provider has offered a school district employee lunch at a local sandwich shop three times during the course of the year. The value of the school district employee’s meal is $9 each time. The total value of the gifts is $27. No other gifts are received by this employee from this provider. The meals fall in the $20 per instance and $50 per annum exception and there is no rule violation.
100E-rate Gift Rules Gift Rule Exceptions Examples A school system employee and his spouse are invited by a service provider to attend a play, tickets to which have a face value of $30 each. The aggregate market value of the gifts offered on this single occasion is $60, $40 more than the $20 amounts that may be accepted for a single event or presentation. The employee may not accept the gift of the evening of entertainment. He and his spouse may attend the play only if he pays the full $60 value of the two tickets.For more details/examples:
101E-rate Gift Rules Gift Rule Exceptions Gifts to family and friends when those gifts are made using personal funds of the donor (without reimbursement from the employer) and are not related to a business transaction or business relationship are exempt. See 47 C.F.R. § (d)(3).
102E-rate Gift Rules Curing Violations Return any tangible item to the donor, or pay the donor its market value, or, if perishable, the item may be given to an appropriate charity or shared within the office or destroyed. See CFR (a).To avoid public embarrassment to the seminar sponsor and E-rate service provider, the Superintendent did not decline a barometer worth $200 given at the conclusion of her speech on the district’s education initiatives. The Superintendent must either return the barometer or promptly reimburse the provider $200 to cure the violation.
103E-rate Gift Rules Curing Violations Examples With approval from the recipient’s supervisor, a floral arrangement sent by a service provider may be placed in the office’s reception area.A district employee wishes to attend a charitable event to which he has been offered a $300 ticket by a service provider. Although his attendance is not in the interest of the district, he may attend if he promptly reimburses the donor the $300 face value of the ticket.
104Charitable Donations Charitable Contributions Gift rules are not intended to discourage charitable donations as long as the donations:Are not directly or indirectly related to E-rate procurement activities or decisions, andAre not given with the intention of circumventing competitive bidding or other FCC rules
105Charitable Donations Allowable Charitable Contributions Paid-for-exchange services at market rates, such as the purchase of advertising space, is neither a gift nor a charitable donation as long as it is not intended to influence the competitive bidding process.For example, service providers purchasing advertising space on the high school football score board, for which they pay market rates, would not cause any violations.
106Charitable Donations Questionable Charitable Contributions Equipment, including laptops and cell phones, may be permissible if it benefits the school or library as a whole and broadly serves an educational purpose.Gifts of equipment that increase demand for a donor’s services, and thus cause the applicant to purchase more of a provider’s services, are prohibited.Example: Service provider donates computers, causing a need for more Internet Access, which the provider sells to the libraryCaptain Obvious’ Note: Free computers are not ever allowed as part of an E-Rate procurement
107Charitable Donations Potentially Allowable Charitable Contributions Cash, equipment, including sporting, musical or playground equipment, may be permissible if they benefit the school or library as a whole and broadly serve an educational purpose.For example, a donation of books for a literacy campaign, given to a school by an E-rate service provider, would be acceptable donation that benefits the school and broadly serves an educational purpose.
108Charitable Donations Unallowable Charitable Contributions Service providers cannot offer special equipment discounts or equipment with service arrangements to E-rate recipients that are not currently available to some other class of subscribers or segment of the public.Free phone/tablet with purchase of service contract must be available to non-E-rate customers as wellDonations to cover the applicant’s non-discount share
109Charitable Donations Unallowable Charitable Contributions Equipment for a specific individual or group of individuals associated with or employed by an E-rate participant.Service provider may not give a gift to a teacher who helps draft a district’s technology plan, even if that teacher does not ultimately help select the E-rate service provider.
110Conferences and Training Sessions Widely Attended Events“Widely attended events” are exempt from gift rules. See 5 C.F.R. § (g)Gathering is widely attended if:Employee’s attendance must be in the interest of the agency (i.e. school or library) and further its programs and operations, andIt is expected that a large number of persons will attend, andPersons with a diversity of views or interests will be present.Event is open to members from throughout the interested industry or professional or those in attendance represent a range of persons interested in a given matter.
111Conferences and Training Sessions Conferences – Permissible ActionsFood, refreshments, instruction and documents given to all attendees at Widely Attended Events are permissible.Trainings offered by state, regional or local government bodies or non-profits or trade associations that include those bodies are not considered vendor promotional trainingVendor promotional training means training provided by any person for the purpose of promoting its products or services. See 5 C.F.R. § (g)
112Conferences and Training Sessions Conferences – Permissible ActionsService providers can host, sponsor, or conduct E-rate training, as long as they do not provide any gift that exceeds the gift exceptionsService providers cannot provide demonstrations or help with preparation or completion of forms, or determining the services listed on the Form 470 and/or RFP.
113Conferences and Training Sessions Conferences – Registration FeesService providers can offer an “educational discount” on the attendance fee to a Widely Attended Event as long as it is available to all employees of schools and libraries.Applicants cannot accept free attendance, paid by a service provider, even if the school or library has assigned the employee to attend the event.A Service provider cannot pay for or reimburse expenses for an applicant to speak at a conference on behalf of that service provider, or in any other setting, e.g. newspaper or magazine.
114Questions?Add Slide of WHAT is E-rate, change the title of this slide back. FCC makes the rules and Regulations, add that.114
117Form 486 ReviewNotifies USAC that services started or are scheduled to start and invoices can be paidApplicant makes additional program certificationsFiled AFTER receipt of FCDLForm 486 must be filed online or postmarked, no later than120 days after Service Start DateOR120 days after FCDL dateWhichever is laterDue to Super Storm Sandy, 2012 Form 486’s associated with Waves 1-17 are due no later than Jan 28, 2013No word yet on prior years’ pending Forms 486 deadlines117
118Process after the Process… i.e. GET YOUR MONEY!
119WHEN will I get $$? E-rate is a discount program FCDL Date Form 486 Funding is based on a discount on actual costs incurred not on total funded amountDistrict must experience costs before disbursements of funding are madeFCDL DateCan be months to over a year after the start of the E-rate/fiscal year – Plan for it!Form 486Must be filed before any disbursements can be madeInvoice DeadlineOctober 28 after close of funding year for recurring servicesJanuary 28 after close of funding year for non-recurring servicesInvoice Deadline Extensions are available
120HOW will I get it? It’s a long and complicated journey… $$ always flows through the service provider – never directly to applicantFCDL -> Form 486 -> Carrier Forms -> SPI or BEAR -> Invoice ReconciliationCarrier Forms, including:Grids, certifications, and data gathering formsMUST be filed before the service providers will process discountsTIP: Get to know the SPIN contact
121HOW will I get it? (Cont’d) SPI or BEAR?SPI (Service Provider Invoice) Form 474Service provider invoices USAC directly for E-rate discounted amountApplicant pays its share after discount (in a perfect world)Complications: timing of FCDL and posting of discounts, verification of receipt of discountsBEAR (Billed Entity Application Reimbursement) Form 472Prepared by applicant – applicant is responsible for calculationsFull costs incurred by applicantE-rate funds disbursed in a check (check issued by SP)
122WHEN will I get it? (Cont’d) After FCDL issued by SLDAfter Applicant has submitted Form 486After Applicant has submitted Service Provider required paperworkAfter Service provider has processed paperworkTHEN:If E-rate discounts are credits on the bill, it may take 2-3 bill cycles for those credits to actually be realizedIf BEAR is filed, applicants will receive a check from Service Provider approximately four – six weeks from the time it is submitted.
123DID I get it???!!! BEAR Method SPI Method Check received by district = full closureMake sure to retain documentation on how BEAR calculations were madeSPI MethodRequires alert and methodical accountingReconciliation of bills required in order to verify if discounts are receivedDiscounts often overlap funding years – it’s a TRUE challenge!Do not assume that SP calculations are correct!
124Deadlines/Extensions Invoice Deadline ExtensionMust be filed in order to collect funds after invoice deadline has passed (October 28)Implementation Deadline Extension (a.k.a. Service Delivery Deadline)Must be filed if non-recurring services will be installed after September 30 deadlineIf a service delivery extension occurs, your contract may need to be extended(HINT: Set contracts for non-recurring services to expire September 30)Applicants must extend the contract AND file a Form 500 to extend the contract expiration date in USAC’s records before an invoice dated after that date can be paid
125Deadlines/Extensions Due to Super Storm Sandy, the invoice deadlines for ALL 2011/2012 recurring services has been extended until January 28, 2013.If you haven’t submitted your BEARs or if you’re not sure that you have received everything you’re entitled to, you now have a special extra ‘window’ of time to check and double check.
126Invoice Deadline What if the Invoice deadline was missed? An Invoice Deadline Extension request must be submitted to USACThere is no official “form”, but there is a format & criteria for request(s)Typically, request is submitted by applicant to USAC.See your binder for specific instructions or consult USAC’s website OR call the TennSEC office with questions
127Questions?Add Slide of WHAT is E-rate, change the title of this slide back. FCC makes the rules and Regulations, add that.127
129Form 500To request one or more of the following changes to a Funding Request Number (FRN) to:Change service start date on the FRN;Change contract expiration date on the FRN;Reduce funding amount on the FRN;Cancel the FRNNOTE: Once you submit a Form 500 to reduce or cancel the funding amount, it is irreversible.
131Service Substitutions To request change in products and/or services specified in Form 471Substitution of a service or product must meet the following conditions:Substituted services or products have same functionality as services or products contained in original proposal.Substitution does not violate any contract provisions or state or local procurement laws.Substitution does not result in an increase in percentage of ineligible services or functions.Requested change is within the scope of controlling FCC Form 470, including any Requests for Proposal, for the original service.For details:
133SPIN Changes SPIN changes: Operational vs. Corrective Pre-commitment SPIN changes:Corrective SPIN changes only (i.e., data entry errors).Post-commitment SPIN changes: (as referenced previously in this presentation) 6th Report & Order restricted Operational SPIN changes as follows:Operational SPIN changes must have legitimate reason to change, such as breach of contract or provider unable to perform, andmust select provider with the next highest point value in evaluation.For more details:
135Audits Purpose of E-rate audits Primary purposes of audits: to ensure compliance with FCC rules and program requirements and to assist in prevention and detection of waste, fraud, & abuseIf you cannot prove that you followed the rules, then it will be assumed that you DID NOT follow the rules.The consequences of negative findings by an auditor can mean payback by the School/District/Library of E-rate monies… or something else.
136Audits EXPECT TO BE AUDITED…at some point E-rate audits will vary, e.g., BCAP, PQA, etc.The best way to prepare for an audit is to:Know and follow the program rulesDOCUMENT EVERYTHING and SAVE DOCUMENTATION IN ORGANIZED WAYYou can’t prove that the School, District, and/or Library abided by the rules if you don’t document your processes and retain supporting documents.Organize your supporting documentation so that ….auditors and/or your successor(s)… can trace what you did to demonstrate that you followed all E-rate program rules.
137Audits PREPARING FOR AUDITS Plan ahead for an audit or review by documenting every step of the process as the work is done.e.g., document how you conducted competitive bidding; save copies of any RFPs issued in conjunction with any Form 470s, save copies of your bid evaluation matrix and scoring of bidders, etc.Create and maintain ORGANIZED E-Rate binders for EACH funding yearRetain – Retain – Retain – Lessen your pain!! Retain ALL E-rate related documentsContact service providers for assistance when appropriate
138Audits Other Levels of Scrutiny H.A.T.S Visits Helping Applicants To SucceedPrimarily for applicants that have had funding issues in the pastWelcome the help…do not be afraidSpecial Compliance ReviewsTypically during PIAItem 25 Selective ReviewCost Effectiveness ReviewCIPA Compliance and Competitive Bidding Selective Reviews
139Always Be Prepared for Audits Document Retention RequirementsKeep for 5 years after last date of serviceBe aware of contract dates and extensionsAll USAC correspondence, including Quarterly Disbursement ReportsMake sure all departments understand document retention requirements for E-RateE.g., food services data, surveys, etc., in support of NSLP participationAlign Board policies with E-rate requirementsPer 5th Report and Order: if applicant can’t prove compliance with rules through documentation, they must assume that you didn’t follow the rulesNo documentation = Recovery of Funds(Applicant may have to pay back USAC for E-rate monies they already received)
140Contact InformationSLDClient Service Bureau (CSB)E-rate “Help Desk” where applicant & service providers can get answers to questionsCall‘Submit a Question’ on SLD websiteTN E-rate Coordinator’s Officeor(855) 45-ERATE ( )Add Slide of WHAT is E-rate, change the title of this slide back. FCC makes the rules and Regulations, add that.140