Small Business:

Status of SBA's 8(a) Minority Business Development Program

T-RCED-95-149: Published: Apr 4, 1995. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 1995.

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GAO discussed the status of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 8(a) business development program and the Department of Defense's (DOD) small disadvantaged business program, focusing on key changes designed to make the 8(a) program more effective. GAO noted that: (1) although the total dollar value of new contracts awarded competitively grew during fiscal year 1994, federal procuring agencies limited firms' competition under the 8(a) program; (2) the concentration of contract dollars in a few firms continued in 1994, limiting many firms' opportunities for development; (3) although SBA has given adequate attention to ensuring that firms have new or revised business plans, it has not annually reviewed these plans to ensure that they accurately reflect the firms' goals and needs; (4) many firms nearing the end of their program terms are still dependent on 8(a) contracts, limiting their chance for future livelihood in the commercial marketplace; and (5) while concentration under the DOD small business program is similar to the 8(a) program, contract dollars awarded through price preference are much more concentrated.

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