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Monday, October 01, 2007

How minimis can you get?

Another Bi-Annual Audit Recovery Report has been released. It's pretty much a yawner. Of the $1.6 billion in funding audited, only $81 million requires recovery. That means when someone is audited, which is often the result of USAC suspicions, improperly disbursed funds are found only about 5% of the time. Of that total, $25.5 million is being appealed, so maybe the percentage is actually lower. And that 5% includes applicants who didn't necessarily do anything wrong, but can't prove they did the right thing. Seems like a pretty clean program to me.

But the thing that jumped out at me: USAC is going after an applicant for $329. There may be other applicants being pursued for similar amounts, but this applicant happened to be the only one in its category, so it jumps out.

In the Fifth Report and Order, the FCC said, "We also conclude that a de minimis exception is in the public interest and direct USAC generally not to seek recovery when the administrative cost is greater than the recovery amount." So USAC set the threshold at less than $329?! If USAC can really collect on audit findings for $329, considering all the appeals, letters, etc., I want to hire them to go after my deadbeat clients.

By the way, there is a de minimis standard in the Universal Service Fund. The de minimis standard for phone companies who contribute to the fund is $10,000. Granted, it's an apples to oranges comparison, but how can an apple be $329 when an orange is $10,000?

1 comment:

  1. It looks like thie recovery is from the Los Angeles schools. And LAUSD has appealed it to the FCC.

    Now the recovery cost is definitely over $329.