Priority Open Recommendations:

Small Business Administration

GAO-19-371SP: Published: Apr 4, 2019. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 2019.

Additional Materials:


William B. Shear
(202) 512-8678


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to the recommendations where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.

This report outlines our 5 priority open recommendations for the Small Business Administration as of April 2019.

For example, we recommended that SBA improve lenders' compliance with the requirement that they make certain loans only to small businesses that cannot obtain credit elsewhere.

Since our previous letter in March 2018, SBA implemented 4 of our priority recommendations.

Graphic showing that this report discusses GAO's 2019 priority recommendations for the Small Business Administration

Additional Materials:


William B. Shear
(202) 512-8678


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

What GAO Found

In March 2018, GAO identified six priority recommendations for the Small Business Administration (SBA). Since then, SBA has implemented four of these recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to evaluate its programs' effectiveness and improve management of its software licenses.

In April 2019, GAO identified three additional priority recommendations for SBA, bringing the total number to five. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Improving lender compliance with the credit elsewhere requirement.
  • Improving data collected on programs designed to support entrepreneurs.
  • Ensuring proper staffing of SBA export finance specialists.

SBA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority recommendations are open GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

For more information, contact William B. Shear at (202) 512-8678 or


Oct 8, 2019

Jul 23, 2019

Jun 28, 2019

Jun 25, 2019

Jun 13, 2019

Jun 12, 2019

Apr 8, 2019

Mar 7, 2019

Feb 25, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here