FCC's Wheeler creates USF 'strike force' to battle program waste and abuse

Tools

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is taking on waste, fraud and abuse in the FCC's funding programs by creating a Universal Service Fund (USF) "Strike Force."

Housed in the regulator's Enforcement Bureau, the USF Strike Force will be led by Loyaan Egal, who joins the FCC after serving as a senior assistant U.S. attorney in the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

Reporting to Enforcement Bureau Acting Chief Travis LeBlanc, Egal will serve as the director of the USF Strike Force. The FCC said that while the Strike Force is still in its foundational stage, "it will continue to grow to include experienced prosecutors, investigators, and forensic analysts." 

"The Commission is committed to aggressively rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse," Wheeler said in a release. "The USF Strike Force expands the Commission's activities, including those of the FCC Office of Inspector General, to protect the integrity of the Universal Service Fund and ensure that the American people's money is wisely spent."

The USF Strike Force will focus on investigating violations of the Communications Act, the commission's rules and other laws bearing on USF programs and contributions. 

In addition, the Strike Force will coordinate with the FCC's Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies to prosecute unlawful conduct. 

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
FCC approves $2B E-Rate changes aimed at improving broadband and Wi-Fi for schools, libraries
FCC dedicates $2B to equip schools, libraries with Wi-Fi
FCC commissioner pushes 1-Gig broadband speeds for schools