The FCC Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a semi-annual report to Congress which covers significant activities that have transpired during the period of April 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017. Most of the OIG’s work “…involves investigating and supporting civil and criminal investigations/ prosecutions of fraud in the FCC’s federal universal service programs.” Allegations come from FCC managers, OIG auditors, employees, contractors, program stakeholders, and the general public and may be reported through the FCC Hotline (see sidebar). The OIG Office of Investigations (OI) coordinates efforts with other federal agencies such as the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United States Attorney Offices across the country. In fact, the OIG is currently engaged in multiple “large-scale investigations involving the E-Rate” in order to “improve program effectiveness and efficiency while reducing fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement” (FCC OIG, 2017).
Multiple Indictments Anticipated as New E-Rate Cases Emerge
Investigative and prosecutorial efforts have resulted in civil settlements and criminal convictions over the years (see below). Ongoing investigations into the activities of E-Rate service providers, E-Rate consultants, and recipients of E-Rate benefits have led the OI team to new cases. Although these cases remain undisclosed to the public in order to prevent interference with law enforcement activities and criminal prosecutions, the FCC OIG report does state that the OI continues to pursue civil and criminal cases of fraud in the E-Rate program. Multiple indictments are anticipated for the next reporting period which runs from October 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
Past FCC E-Rate Proceedings & Actions
Issues Reported to FCC OIG Hotline:
• Contract and Procurement Fraud
• Fraud in Commission programs such as the Universal Service Fund (USF), Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund, and FCC Auctions Programs
• Computer Crimes
• Bribery, Kickbacks, and Gratuities
• False Statements and False Claims
• Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Violations
• Travel Fraud
• Theft and/or Abuse of Government Property
• Other Violations of Federal Laws and Regulations
Therefore, maintaining accurate records throughout the entire E-Rate process is essential. In fact, documents must be retained for at least 10 years. Certify compliance through a comprehensive suite of solutions provided by ISAFE Enterprises.
About ISAFE Enterprises
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