Government Operations:

Observations on the Small Business Administration's Fiscal Year 1999 Performance Report and Fiscal Year 2001 Performance Plan

RCED-00-207R: Published: Jun 30, 2000. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 2000.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) fiscal year (FY) 1999 performance reports and FY 2001 performance plan required by the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).

GAO noted that: (1) overall, SBA's FY 1999 report showed mixed results in meeting the agency's goals for the three key outcomes; (2) SBA's FY 2001 plan discusses the 10 management challenges facing SBA, but the plan does not include any performance goals and measures that directly relate to the management challenges; (3) SBA's FY 1999 performance report had four performance goals related to the first key outcome--small businesses become self-reliant and successful in the competitive marketplace; (4) while the performance goals and measures in SBA's performance report are objective and measurable, they are generally output-oriented; (5) SBA revised some of its performance goals in the FY 2001 plan, however most of the measures remain the same as those in the FY 2000 plan; (6) the second key outcome--businesses and families recovering from disasters receive timely assistance--had one performance goal in SBA's FY 1999 performance report; (7) in the FY 2001 performance plan, SBA broadened its one performance goal to "providing quality and timely service" and added a new measure, to assess its compliance with disaster loan underwriting requirements; (8) the one performance goal in SBA's FY 1999 performance report for the third key outcome--more eligible minority small businesses participate in SBA programs and become successful--is measurable, objective, and output oriented, and is an indicator of progress; (9) SBA's FY 2001 performance plan does not contain performance goals and measures that directly relate to the major management challenges confronting SBA, but it does discuss its strategies for addressing the challenges; (10) one goal involves increasing the share of federal prime contract dollars awarded to small disadvantaged businesses to 7 percent and relates to the challenge of providing more contract opportunities to 8(a) firms; (11) the other goal, which appears in the plan's discussion of SBA's corporate management strategies to become a leading-edge 21st century institution, involves conducting yearly management training on internal controls and relates to the challenge of emphasizing fraud deterrence and detection; (12) SBA's FY 1999 report and its FY 2001 plan show that SBA is making progress in addressing its management challenges; (13) SBA's FY 1999 performance report and its FY 2001 plan did not always follow GPRA implementing guidance; and (14) for two of the key outcomes--minority business and disaster assistance--SBA's FY 2001 plan did not discuss the number or type of human capital resources needed to achieve SBA's planned performance.

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