Share “Bill seeks accountability in Lifeline program”

Bill seeks accountability in Lifeline program

Oklahoman Published: March 6, 2013
Advertisement

Fraud is so rampant throughout our numerous federal programs that most of us have heard anecdotal stories of people fleecing the government. In the case of the Lifeline program, some people have received free phones who didn't ask for them. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is investigating potential fraud in the Lifeline program. Lawmakers have an opportunity to reduce the potential for future fraud through House Bill 2165, which would give the agency the power to require documentation from phone service providers in order to qualify to be reimbursed through the program.

The documentation would include the initial verification and continued verification of eligibility of the individual getting the phone service, verification that the customer isn't receiving multiple Lifeline credits and, finally, that the provider is complying with the Lifeline guidelines. The legislation further authorizes the Corporation Commission to penalize noncompliant providers.

What's at stake? According to the commission, $236 million was received from the federal fund by all Oklahoma companies in 2012. Fraud could potentially be eating up millions of dollars. It's been noted that the federal government pays additional dollars to individuals living on land that was originally part of an Indian reservation, meaning there is more money to be had through fraud in Oklahoma than in many states.

I hope my House and Senate colleagues will join me in supporting this legislation to add accountability into the system.

State Rep. Jon Echols, Oklahoma City

Echols, a Republican, represents District 90 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Baylor DE Shawn Oakman suspended for opener against SMU
  2. 2
    You need to check out Japan's Street View for cats right meow
  3. 3
    Oklahoma officials investigating dog-skinning case
  4. 4
    Man charged with raping, beating ex-girlfriend is named Tulsa's Most Wanted fugitive
  5. 5
    Former caregiver for foster families arrested on child porn complaints
+ show more

FEATURED JOBS



× Trending opinion Article