July 7, 2008
Cooperation with Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC)
Special Nutrition Programs
Child Nutrition Programs
We have been asked to address the appropriateness of providing information to contractors
auditing school districts’ receipt of funds under the FCC’s E-Rate fund. The FCC, through
the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), administers the E-Rate program.
USAC provides discounts to schools to obtain affordable telecommunication and Internet
access; the discount rates are based on the percentage of children who are approved for
free and reduced price school meals. USAC has contracted with private firms to conduct
audits of the discount rates given to schools. Specifically, auditors have asked for a list of
students eligible for free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program
(NSLP) who enrolled in the selected schools along with the applications for those students.
Based on information shared with us by the FCC’s Office of the Inspector General, we
have now determined that release of information to their auditors is permitted under
section 9(b)(6) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA). That section
allows release of certain student eligibility information to Federal education programs. We
have worked with the FCC to ensure that their audit protocols comply with the
requirements of the NSLA.
As long as the audit protocols below are followed, local educational agencies (LEAs) may
share individual children’s information with authorized FCC auditors. The app