Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
This is a summary of the Part 54 Audit Authority Transition Order released on October 19, 2012. The Part 54 Audit Authority Transition Order and related Commission documents may be purchased from the Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (BCPI), 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone 202-488-5300, fax 202-488-5563, or you may contact BCPI at its Web site:
1. Section 54.717 of the Commission's rules requires the USAC “to obtain and pay for an annual audit conducted by an independent auditor to examine its operations and books of account to determine, among other things, whether * * * [USAC] is properly administering the universal service support mechanisms to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.” Since 2006, OIG has been the staff unit responsible for overseeing the conduct of the part 54 audit. The purpose of this annual audit has been to oversee the operations of the Universal Service Administrator and to safeguard the Universal Service Fund from potential waste, fraud, and abuse.
2. The Commission amends section 54.717 of its rules to substitute OMD as the staff unit responsible for overseeing the part 54 USAC audit. In 2010, OMD instructed USAC that OIG would no longer directly conduct or oversee the universal service fund beneficiary and contributor audit plan (BCAP), an audit separate from the part 54 USAC audit. This change was in furtherance of OIG's understanding of its responsibilities consistent with the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (IG Act). As a result, OMD assumed from OIG the responsibility for directing and overseeing USAC's implementation of the BCAP program. Consistent with OIG's request that the part 54 audit function be transferred back to an appropriate Bureau or Office, and because the Commission finds that OMD now oversees the universal service fund BCAP audits and has in place the resources and expertise needed to oversee the part 54 audit as well, the Commission transfers part 54 oversight authority to OMD.
3. Given this augmentation of OMD's role in audit oversight, the Commission also finds it appropriate to delegate limited authority to OMD, upon receiving approval from the Office of General Counsel, to issue subpoenas that directly relate to OMD'S oversight of audits of the USF programs and OMD's review and evaluation of the interstate telecommunications relay services fund, the North American numbering plan, regulatory fee collection, FCC operating expenses, and debt collection. By granting OMD with this specific, limited and discreet subpoena authority, the Commission will ensure that OMD has the necessary tools to obtain all relevant documentation in a timely manner to complete audit findings and implement corrective actions for all of these programs. Absent this delegation, there is the potential that an audited entity in a particular FCC program may resist providing essential data to OMD to confirm that entity is operating consistent with program rules. Providing OMD with this specific, limited and discreet subpoena authority, therefore strengthens OMD's ability to effectively review and evaluate the aforementioned FCC programs in a
4. The rule amendments adopted in this Order involve rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice. The notice and comment and effective date provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act are therefore inapplicable.
5. Accordingly, it is ordered, that pursuant to sections 4(i), 4(j), 5(c), 303(r), 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 155(c), 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 CFR part 54 is amended, as set forth below, effective upon publication in the
Classified information, Freedom of information, Government publications, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
Communications common carriers, Health facilities, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 0 and 54 as follows:
Secs. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended;
Secs. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 155.