Small Business:

Information on Cosponsorship Program Activities

RCED-89-158BR: Published: Jul 5, 1989. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) financing and oversight of its Private Sector Cooperative Program, which it conducts under the Small Business Act to obtain private-sector cooperation and resources in providing training and counseling to small businesses, focusing on SBA region IX activities for the period April 1 through September 30, 1988.

GAO found that: (1) SBA field offices did not comply with 1 or more of the act's requirements for many of the 222 events cosponsored nationwide with profit-making concerns; (2) SBA did not prepare or sign mandated agreements with cosponsors for 96 of the 222 events; (3) SBA did not account for fees paid by small businesses for attending cosponsored events in at least 109 cases; (4) regions did not submit fee accounting data to headquarters for 65 of 222 events; (5) brochures on the events did not give proper recognition to SBA for at least 42 of the events and did not include the required disclaimer regarding the endorsement of the cosponsor's opinions, products, or services for at least 89 of the events; (6) regions did not submit brochures to headquarters for 97 of the 222 events; and (7) SBA did not prepare or sign the agreements for events that it cosponsored with nonprofit entities that also involved profit-making concerns. GAO also found that SBA: (1) issued new procedures that required written, signed agreements for all cosponsorships; (2) discontinued cosponsorships with state and local public officials, except for state governors and lieutenant governors; and (3) provided new procedures training to its field office personnel.

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