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e-CFR data is current as of November 12, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart F → §54.631

Title 47: Telecommunication
Subpart F—Universal Service Support for Schools and Libraries

§54.631   Audits and recordkeeping.

(a) Random audits. All participants under the Telecommunications Program and Healthcare Connect Fund Program shall be subject to random compliance audits to ensure compliance with program rules and orders.

(b) Recordkeeping. Participants, including Consortium Leaders and health care providers, shall maintain records to document compliance with program rules and orders for at least five years after the last day of service delivered in a particular funding year sufficient to establish compliance with all rules in this subpart.

(1) Telecommunications Program. (i) Participants must maintain, among other things, records of allocations for consortia and entities that engage in eligible and ineligible activities, if applicable.

(ii) Mobile rural health care providers shall maintain annual logs for a period of five years. Mobile rural health care providers shall maintain annual logs indicating: The date and locations of each clinical stop; and the number of patients served at each clinical stop. Mobile rural health care providers shall make their logs available to the Administrator and the Commission upon request.

(iii) Service providers shall retain documents related to the delivery of discounted services for at least five years after the last day of the delivery of discounted services. Any other document that demonstrates compliance with the statutory or regulatory requirements for the rural health care mechanism shall be retained as well.

(2) Healthcare Connect Fund Program. (i) Participants who receive support for long-term capital investments in facilities whose useful life extends beyond the period of the funding commitment shall maintain records for at least five years after the end of the useful life of the facility. Participants shall maintain asset and inventory records of supported network equipment to verify the actual location of such equipment for a period of five years after purchase.

(ii) Service providers shall retain records related to the delivery of supported services, facilities, or equipment to document compliance with the Commission rules or orders pertaining to the Healthcare Connect Fund Program for at least five years after the last day of the delivery of supported services, equipment, or facilities in a particular funding year.

(c) Production of records. Both participants and service providers under the Telecommunications Program and Healthcare Connect Fund Program shall produce such records at the request of the Commission, any auditor appointed by the Administrator or Commission, or any other state or federal agency with jurisdiction.

(d) Obligation of service providers. Service providers in the Telecommunications Program and Healthcare Connect Fund Program must certify, as a condition of receiving support, that they will provide to health care providers, on a timely basis, all information and documents regarding supported equipment, facilities, or services that are necessary for the health care provider to submit required forms or respond to Commission or Administrator inquiries. The Administrator may withhold disbursements for the service provider if the service provider, after written notice from the Administrator, fails to comply with this requirement.

Effective Date Note: At 84 FR 54979, Oct. 11, 2019, §54.631 was revised. Section 54.631(d) contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart F → §54.631

§54.631   Designation of Consortium Leader.

(a) Identifying a Consortium Leader. Each consortium seeking support from the Healthcare Connect Fund must identify an entity or organization that will be the lead entity (the “Consortium Leader”).

(b) Consortium Leader eligibility. The Consortium Leader may be the consortium itself (if it is a distinct legal entity); an eligible health care provider participating in the consortium; or a state organization, public sector (governmental) entity (including a Tribal government entity), or non-profit entity that is ineligible for Healthcare Connect Fund support. Ineligible state organizations, public sector entities, or non-profit entities may serve as Consortium Leaders or provide consulting assistance to consortia only if they do not participate as potential vendors during the competitive bidding process. An ineligible entity that serves as the Consortium Leader must pass on the full value of any discounts, funding, or other program benefits secured to the consortium members that are eligible health care providers.

(c) Consortium Leader responsibilities. The Consortium Leader's responsibilities include the following:

(1) Legal and financial responsibility for supported activities. The Consortium Leader is the legally and financially responsible entity for the activities supported by the Healthcare Connect Fund. By default, the Consortium Leader is the responsible entity if audits or other investigations by Administrator or the Commission reveal violations of the Act or Commission rules, with individual consortium members being jointly and severally liable if the Consortium Leader dissolves, files for bankruptcy, or otherwise fails to meet its obligations. Except for the responsibilities specifically described in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(6) of this section, consortia may allocate legal and financial responsibility as they see fit, provided that this allocation is memorialized in a formal written agreement between the affected parties (i.e., the Consortium Leader, and the consortium as a whole and/or its individual members), and the written agreement is submitted to the Administrator for approval with or prior to the Request for Services. Any such agreement must clearly identify the party(ies) responsible for repayment if the Administrator is required, at a later date, to recover disbursements to the consortium due to violations of program rules.

(2) Point of contact for the FCC and Administrator. The Consortium Leader is responsible for designating an individual who will be the “Project Coordinator” and serve as the point of contact with the Commission and the Administrator for all matters related to the consortium. The Consortium Leader is responsible for responding to Commission and Administrator inquiries on behalf of the consortium members throughout the application, funding, invoicing, and post-invoicing period.

(3) Typical applicant functions, including forms and certifications. The Consortium Leader is responsible for submitting program forms and required documentation and ensuring that all information and certifications submitted are true and correct. The Consortium Leader must also collect and retain a Letter of Agency (LOA) from each member, pursuant to §54.632.

(4) Competitive bidding and cost allocation. The Consortium Leader is responsible for ensuring that the competitive bidding process is fair and open and otherwise complies with Commission requirements. If costs are shared by both eligible and ineligible entities, the Consortium Leader must ensure that costs are allocated in a manner that ensures that only eligible entities receive the benefit of program discounts.

(5) Invoicing. The Consortium Leader is responsible for notifying the Administrator when supported services have commenced and for submitting invoices to the Administrator.

(6) Recordkeeping, site visits, and audits. The Consortium Leader is also responsible for compliance with the Commission's recordkeeping requirements and for coordinating site visits and audits for all consortium members.

[78 FR 13985, Mar. 1, 2013]

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