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Program Integrity

Both USAC and program participants have important roles to play in safeguarding the integrity of universal service program activities. To make sure that the universal service funds come from and go to the right people in the right amounts for the right purposes, everyone involved in collections and disbursements has important responsibilities to fulfill. USAC must take in, process, and evaluate information received from program participants in an accurate, timely fashion. Both contributors and beneficiaries must provide USAC with full, correct information and handle payments in accordance with program rules.

Any party (including, but not limited to entities filing an FCC Form 499, federal universal service program applicants, and service providers) that wishes to file an appeal of a USAC decision must first seek review of that decision by appealing directly to USAC before filing an appeal with the FCC. Parties seeking a waiver of FCC rules should file an appeal directly with the FCC because USAC cannot waive FCC rules. A party that has filed an appeal with USAC may, if it chooses, appeal USAC's decision to the FCC. See Sections 54.719-54.725 of the FCC's rules for further information regarding filing an appeal.

USAC, for its part, operates the Beneficiary and Contributor Audit Program (BCAP) and the Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) Program. These programs are designed to generate reliable data about both program compliance and rates of improper payments. USAC provides participants in both these programs with information about what to expect from an audit and/or a payment assessment as well as access to staff members who can answer any questions program participants might have.

To learn more about appeals, BCAP audits, and PQA assessments, select from the links below.