Small Business Act:

Agriculture's Disadvantaged Business Advocate Not Reporting to Proper Management Level

GGD-87-45: Published: Apr 6, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 6, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) to determine its compliance with the Small Business Act.

GAO found that, although the act required the OSDBU Director to report directly to the Secretary of Agriculture or his deputy, the Director was reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Administration, in violation of the act. Although USDA deemed the Assistant Secretary for Administration to be the Deputy Secretary, this did not fulfill the requirements of the act, since USDA had no statutory authority to deem one of its officials to be another official.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As of June 8, 1987, the Director, OSDBU, has been reporting directly to and responsible only to the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. This brings USDA into compliance with the Small Business Act, section 15(R)(3).

    Recommendation: To bring USDA into compliance with Section 15(k)(3) of the Small Business Act, the Secretary of Agriculture should require the Director, OSDBU, to be responsible only to and report directly to the Secretary or Deputy Secretary.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture


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