Reminder of Requirements for Consortia Leaders
January 24, 2017
~ New Version of Form 479 Required Starting Now ~
In Pennsylvania, many schools and libraries are members of consortia, whether they be through their Intermediate Units or Library Systems. This message is a friendly reminder that there are 2 extra E-rate requirements for leaders of these consortia — LOAs and 479s – and a notice that a new version of the Form 479 must be used (see below).
LETTERS OF AGENCY
The person who files/certifies the Form 470 and 471 is certifying that they are authorized to file E-rate applications on behalf of the entities listed in the application. In order to prove to the SLD that this person actually is authorized by each of these entities, each consortium member must complete what’s known as a Letter of Agency (LOA) and submit it to the consortium lead. Other vehicles to establish this authorization could be a project agreement, a contract, a letter agreement, or other similar document. The LOA may cover multiple years, but it cannot be open-ended (meaning it should say exactly which E-rate funding years are covered). Whatever the form of the document establishing the above authorization, it must contain all of the following:
* The name of the consortium leader (organization filing the E-rate applications)
* The name of the consortium member that is granting authorization to the consortium lead
* The specific timeframe the LOA or authorizing document covers (for example, the E-rate Funding Years 2017, 2018, 2019)
* The name, title, signature and signing date of an official with the consortium member’s organization
* The type of services covered by the LOA or authorizing document (the description of services can be as general as “all E-rate Program eligible services” or it can be more restrictive).
If the consortia is applying for E-rate discounts on anything other than telecommunications services, the consortia lead must certify on a Form 486 that all members of the consortia are CIPA compliant. In order for the lead consortia member to know if the members are CIPA compliant, each consortia member must sign a completed Form 479 – ANNUALLY – to the lead consortia member. The lead member then retains the Forms 479 for audit purposes, and submits ONLY the completed Form 486 to the SLD. The Form 479 cannot be a multi-year document – it must be signed/submitted to the consortium lead every year before the Form 486 is filed for the consortium.
Important: On January 24, 2017, USAC posted a NEW Form 479 that was just approved by OMB (dated Dec 2016). If you have not yet had your consortia members sign the Form 479 for FY 2016, please have them use the attached, fill-in, version. A blank version that does not have fill-in capability is available on the USAC website at: http://www.usac.org/_res/documents/sl/pdf/forms/479.PDF. We know that any 479 that was signed prior to January 24, 2017 will be compliant and we are seeking a small “grace period” for forms signed in the few weeks after this date. But for safe measure, and if possible, please stop using the old version of the form, and use the one with Dec 2016 in the bottom left corner.
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Julie Tritt Schell
PA E-rate Coordinator