E-Rate Oversight Committee
WHEREAS, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and Hurricane Rita have caused unprecedented devastation and damage to the communities of south Louisiana, including its people, economy, infrastructure, natural resources and critical institutions;
WHEREAS, an unprecedented one hundred thirty-two ($132,000,000) million in federal E-Rate Hurricane Katrina Relief Funding will be committed to the rebuilding of school and library technology infrastructures in these areas and offsetting the cost entities have endured with the influx of displaced students;
WHEREAS, it is essential that the state of Louisiana coordinate such resources to fulfill its obligation to provide oversight as outlined in FCC 05-178 in Section 1, Paragraph 51;
WHEREAS, the importance and magnitude of such coordination and oversight undertaking dictate that a singe unit of government be charged with such a task;
WHEREAS, the unit must be guided by a distinguished board which shall ensure that E-Rate funding dedicated to the Hurricane Katrina Relief is coordinated to the highest standards of integrity and quality; and
WHEREAS, the unit must work across levels of governments, guided by the governor's vision and in support of local communities to develop and realize a comprehensive long-term vision for a rebuilt and renewed Louisiana;
NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Louisiana Broadband Advisory Council (hereafter "Council) is hereby authorized to coordinate an E-Rate Oversight Committee (hereafter "Committee") within its Council to work under the guidance of the Universal Service Administrative Authority and the FCC.
SECTION 2: The duties of the Committee shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Review and approve all applications filed by Louisiana schools and libraries that apply for the special Hurricane Katrina E-Rate Funding to ensure that the requests are cost effective, warranted, and necessary to rebuild the infrastructure to the same level of functionality as prior to August 28, 2005;
B. Review and approve all requests by Louisiana schools and libraries to adjust their National School Lunch Program data to reflect the influx of displaced students and library patrons; and
C. Provide assistance to the FCC and the Universal Service Administrative Authority by providing accurate data on the number of schools and libraries impacted by Hurricane Katrina and the extent to which those schools and libraries will need special E-Rate Hurricane Katrina Funding.
SECTION 3: The Committee shall submit a written comprehensive report quarterly to the governor and to the Council.
SECTION 4: The Committee shall be composed of a maximum of seven (7) members, who shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of the governor, selected as follows:
A. Two (2) representatives of the Louisiana Department of Education;
B. One (1) representative of the Division of Administration;
C. One (1) representative of the State Library of Louisiana;
D. One (1) representative of the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators;
E. One (1) representative of the Louisiana Office of Telecommunications; and
F. One (1) representative of the Louisiana Office of State Purchasing.
SECTION 5: The chair of the Committee shall be selected by the governor. All other officers, if any, shall be elected by and from the membership of the Committee.
SECTION 6: The Committee shall meet at regularly scheduled meetings and at the call of the chair.
SECTION 7: Committee members shall not receive additional compensation or a per diem for serving on the Committee. However, such Committee members shall be entitled to reasonable and necessary travel expenses consistent with travel allowance for state classified employees as provided in the latest Policy and Procedure Memorandum PPM 49 and approved by the chair, if funding becomes available.
SECTION 8: Support staff, facilities, and resources for the Committee shall be provided by the Council.
SECTION 9: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Committee in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 10: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 9th day of November, 2005.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State