Small Business:

The Small Business Administration's Progress in Restructuring Its Business Development Program

T-RCED-93-56: Published: Sep 22, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) progress in implementing legislatively-mandated changes to its 8(a) business development program. GAO found that: (1) SBA has made limited progress in implementing some 8(a) program changes; (2) SBA redesign of its 8(a) program management information system is behind schedule, and does not meet federal regulations and guidelines; (3) SBA has not developed an estimate of the system's total redesign cost; (4) without a management information system, Congress and SBA program managers cannot determine the amount of assistance being provided to 8(a) firms and assess its effectiveness in developing 8(a) firms; (5) in 1992, SBA certification of 8(a) program participants averaged 170 days, which exceeds the 90-day legislative requirement; (6) although most 8(a) firms have new or revised SBA approved business plans, SBA does not annually review each approved business plan as required; (7) SBA needs to continue to improve its tracking of management and technical assistance and develop criteria to measure the effectiveness of 8(a) assistance; and (8) although SBA tracks the principal programs that provide 8(a) financial assistance, it does not know the full extent of 8(a) financial assistance being provided by all SBA programs.

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