US Commerce Department demands Frontier repay grant money
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal agency is seeking the reimbursement of $4.7 million in grant money from Frontier Communications for overcharges in a broadband internet extension project.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the U.S. Department of Commerce is demanding that Frontier return the funds. State officials on Friday released the Commerce Department’s Aug. 21 letter.
In the $126 million project, Frontier says it built 675 miles of broadband fiber to reach underserved regions of the state and connected community anchor institutions including schools, libraries, health care providers and police.
The Office of Inspector General had cited reimbursements for $465,000 for invoice processing fees as “unreasonable” and at least $4.24 million in “unallowable” indirect charges for overhead and administrative expenses.
Frontier has said its administrative costs were proper and any reimbursement issues resulted from state miscommunications with the grants administrator.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.