Review of Programs Designed To Assist Businesses Owned by Minorities and Other Disadvantaged Individuals

B-149685: Published: Jun 21, 1979. Publicly Released: May 6, 1985.

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In 1978, Congress amended the Small Business Act to strengthen the assistance programs for minority-owned small businesses. A provision for periodic review of the programs by GAO was included in the amendments to the act. Meetings were held with the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Associate Administrator for Minority Business Development to keep abreast of SBA plans to implement the amendment's program changes. As a result, GAO planned a series of program reviews to meet its reporting responsibilities. An audit of the Economic Opportunity Loan Program began in January 1979. Three other programs have been scheduled for evaluation, the results which are combined in a single report with interim progress reports at regular intervals. In addition, GAO is required to review both a 2-year pilot project for negotiating contracts for the 8(a) program, to be managed by the Army under an interagency agreement with SBA, and a new subcontracting program under which SBA will encourage businesses to subcontract with small firms meeting specific criteria. GAO reporting schedules will be dependent on the alacrity with which SBA makes the programs operational.

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