E-Rate in 'financial disarray'

A $2.25 billion federal program created six years ago to help connect schools and libraries to the Internet is "honeycombed with fraud and financial shenanigans," according to a report released Jan. 9 by the Center for Public Integrity.

E-Rate, created as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, provides schools and libraries with discounts of 20 percent to 90 percent for Internet access and telecommunications infrastructure and for internal connections.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan center said that the E-Rate program is in "financial disarray," with problems ranging from "simple paperwork and reporting errors to false billing and other fraud potentially involving hundreds of millions of dollars."

FAA updates airspace plans

The Federal Aviation Administration has expanded plans for some programs and delayed others in the latest version of its Operational Evolution Plan, a mix of information technology and other initiatives designed to expand capacity to meet passenger needs.

The new version extends the time frame for completion by three years to 2013.

House Armed Services chair to push modernization

The new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), said Jan. 9 that the modernization of the country's fighting forces will be the committee's key mission during his tenure as chairman.

As part of his plan, Hunter has realigned the committee into six subcommittees, each with a focus on specific missions.

"We need to move the bureaucracy aside and get the new technologies and systems to the field quickly," he said.


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