Assuring effective stewardship of the E-rate by guarding against misuse or waste of E-rate funds is a priority shared by USAC, the Schools and Libraries Division, the FCC, applicants, service providers, and the public. To that end, the Whistleblower Hotline allows applicants, service providers, and others to alert us-anonymously, if desired-to instances where E-rate funds are being misapplied or where potential program rule violations may exist.
Each call to the Whistleblower Hotline is handled by specially-trained staff, and each tip is investigated carefully. If our investigation clearly confirms a program rule violation that is indicative of waste, fraud, or abuse, we will take immediate corrective steps, including but not limited to adjusting or rescinding funding commitments and recovering program funds. Other steps may be undertaken, such as referral of matters to criminal and other law enforcement agencies.
Because the SLD treats each call to the Whistleblower Hotline as a serious and urgent matter requiring our attention, we caution you to use the hotline procedure described below ONLY to report potential instances of waste, fraud, or abuse of program rules.
Here’s how the Whistleblower Hotline works:
If you want to report what you believe is a misuse of program funds or a violation of program rules, call the Client Service Bureau at 1-888-203-8100 and tell the operator that you want to report a potential program rule violation.
You will be connected to specially trained staff who will record your report. This staff person will ask you a series of questions in order to obtain as much information about the situation as possible, so the investigation can proceed efficiently.
If you choose to remain anonymous, you may do so. If you opt to identify yourself so that our investigators can contact you for additional information, we will make every effort to maintain your confidentiality as the investigation proceeds.
After your call is complete, the report of your call will be referred to the USAC Office of General Counsel for assessment and investigation.
The USAC Office of General Counsel will make the final determination of action needed on each case, in consultation with SLD Management and the Federal Communications Commission as appropriate.