Small Business:

Efforts to Improve Activities of the Service Corps of Retired Executives

RCED-91-5: Published: Nov 20, 1990. Publicly Released: Dec 21, 1990.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the operations of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), focusing on: (1) how SCORE operates and the services it provides to the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Small Business Development Centers (SBDC); and (2) SCORE management and administration of its chapters.

GAO found that: (1) some SCORE chapters did not submit monthly or annual reports, as the SCORE standard operating manual required; (2) inconsistencies in chapters' reporting of counseling sessions and workshops affected the usefulness of data from the SCORE-generated management information system; (3) there were varying differences in SBA oversight of SCORE chapters and in SCORE coordination of its chapters with SBDC; (4) some chapters did not consistently evaluate the quality or benefits of the counseling their members were providing; and (5) federal funds for clerical support or travel expenses varied according to whether the chapter could get such support from SBA, other organizations, or volunteers.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: SCORE with SBA assistance updated and issued its Standard Operating Manual in January 1991. This manual should standardize reporting requirements and help SCORE and SBA provide better guidance and oversight to its chapters and field offices.

    Recommendation: Because of the various ways in which chapters interpreted reporting requirements, the President, SCORE, should provide written guidance on reporting to the chapters, as well as guidance for implementing changes to the counseling form and the management information system now being considered.

    Agency Affected: ACTION: Service Corps of Retired Executives

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: SBA and SCORE officials have worked together to ensure accurate management information system reporting. SBA, with SCORE, has developed a more user-friendly and comprehensive report so local SCORE chapters can review and analyze their results. Also, SBA and SCORE will monitor and review quarterly that data is accurately reported and the counseling and training activities are properly tabulated.

    Recommendation: The President, SCORE, and the Administrator, SBA, should work together to help ensure more accurate reporting of data in the management information system.

    Agency Affected: ACTION: Service Corps of Retired Executives

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: SBA and SCORE officials have worked together to ensure accurate management information system reporting. SBA, with SCORE, has developed a more user-friendly and comprehensive report so local SCORE chapters can review and analyze their results. Also, SBA and SCORE will monitor and review quarterly that data is accurately reported and the counseling and training activities are properly tabulated.

    Recommendation: The President, SCORE, and the Administrator, SBA, should work together to help ensure more accurate reporting of data in the management information system.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On January 29, 1991, SBA convened a meeting of current presidents of SCORE and SBDC. The meeting's purpose was to improve communications and develop a process to encourage referrals among these resources. Based on this meeting, SBA will redesign existing counseling forms to allow audit and stimulate greater cooperation and referrals among the resources.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, SBA, should conduct joint planning meetings and promote the referral SCORE clients to SBDC, to help foster cooperation between SCORE and SBDC.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

 

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