Consultants & Third Parties

You (the applicant) may use a consultant or other third party to file Rural Health Care (RHC) Program forms and supporting documentation on your behalf through My Portal, the RHC Program’s application management system. In the HCF Program, consultants are not permitted to be primary or secondary account holders and may only be tertiary account holders. In the Telecom Program, consultants are not permitted to be primary account holders, but may be secondary account holders. More information about account holder types can be found here.

Third Party Authorization

If you are using a third party (e.g. consultant) to file forms on behalf of your site, you must first provide USAC with a written third party authorization (TPA). The third party will receive tertiary account holder rights in My Portal when the TPA is approved.  In addition to giving the third party authority to complete and submit forms on your behalf, the TPA acknowledges that you accept financial and legal responsibility for any errors, omissions, or misrepresentations in the forms and/or documents submitted by the third party. Ultimately, you (the HCP) are ultimately responsible for any RHC Program rule violations (including competitive bidding violations).

For more information about requirements, see the Third Party Authorization page.

Declaration of Assistance

Consultants who help prepare the FCC Form 460 (Eligibility and Registration Form), FCC Form 461 (HCF Program Request for Services Form), or FCC Form 465(Telecom Program Request for Services Form), including any of the associated documents submitted to USAC, must be identified in the “Declaration of Assistance” section on Block 4 of the FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465. This declaration must list every consultant, service provider, and any other outside expert, whether paid or unpaid, who helped prepare the HCP’s application.

Prohibitions

RHC Program rules prohibit consultants and other third parties with an ownership interest, sales commission arrangement, or other financial stake with respect to a bidding service provider from performing any of the following functions on behalf of the applicant:

  • Preparing, signing, or submitting the FCC Form 461 (HCF Program Request for Services Form) or FCC Form 465 (Telecom Program Description of Services Requested & Certification Form), including supporting documentation
      • This includes preparing a description of the desired services for the applicant to use on its request for services form,
  • Serving as a consortium leader or other point of contact on behalf of the applicant,
  • Being involved in the development of the competitive bidding evaluation criteria, or
  • Participating in the bid evaluation or service provider selection process.

The material on these webpages is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting the RHC Program rules, orders, and other primary sources of information. Applicants and service providers are ultimately responsible for knowing and complying with all RHC Program rules and procedures.