Small Business:

Information on Participation in SBA's Bonding Activities

RCED-94-134: Published: Mar 24, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1994.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed whether the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Preferred Surety Bond Guarantee (PSB) Program: (1) increased standard sureties' participation in SBA bonding activities; and (2) expanded minority-owned businesses' access to SBA-guaranteed bonds.

GAO found that: (1) the PSB program increased standard sureties' participation in SBA bonding activities from 1987 to 1993; (2) standard sureties in the PSB program accounted for 9 percent of all bonds and 13 percent of the contract dollars guaranteed by SBA during fiscal years (FY) 1991 through 1993; (3) three standard sureties, two of which are affiliated companies, issued 85 percent of the bonds guaranteed under the PSB program; (4) one company accounted for 65 percent of the bonds guaranteed during FY 1991 through 1993; (5) half of the 14 standard sureties approved for the program as of March 1994 received approval during 1993; and (6) although minority-owned businesses accounted for 18 percent of all SBA-guaranteed bonds issued during FY 1991 through 1993, the extent of minority firms' participation is uncertain.

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