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Monday, August 08, 2005

Extended Outreach site visit - the visit

Today we completed the actual site visit. Here's the short view:
A single BearingPoint employee came at the appointed time, and we sat down and went through a series of prepared questions, with him jotting down notes on our responses. He asked for the documents listed in the letter, we went over them where necessary.

What did we cover?

We talked about the tech plan: when it was approved, what period it covered, who approved it. Interestingly, we never really had to describe how it was prepared.

We talked about the details of the invoice, mostly about how we arrived at the amounts. Since there was no equipment involved, I think we skipped most of the questions on this section, not to mention avoiding having to show where the equipment was and how inventory was tracked.

We talked about the E-Rate process: how we managed the competitive process, who completed the application, what suggestions we had for improving the process. My favorite question: What recommendations do we have for other applicants in completing the E-Rate. I do two-hour workshops on just that subject, but I gave him the highlights.

We talked about training, both of students and teachers. And about how students and teachers use the Internet. Since there were no students or teachers in the building, we didn't show the auditor anything.

I shouldn't say "auditor"; the BearingPoint employee kept stressing that this was not an audit. But using the term "visitor" seems wrong, and I don't know what else to use.

Have your paperwork ready, and the visit is easy enough. One suggestion I would make is to think about the feedback section; get your ideas ready on your problems applying and suggestions for improving the program.

What's next? Within 60 days, a secret report goes to the SLD. The SLD will then follow up. I'll post info on the follow-up then.

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