Federal Research:

Effectiveness of Small Business Innovation Research Program Procedures

RCED-87-63: Published: Jun 2, 1987. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1987.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reported on federal agencies' implementation of the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982, focusing on: (1) whether agencies' small business innovation research (SBIR) procedures provided for award selection based on merit; (2) how much time agencies were taking to award SBIR contracts and grants; and (3) whether agencies were implementing procedures to make SBIR participation simpler for small businesses than other research programs.

GAO found that the 11 agencies that it reviewed generally adhered to their SBIR procedures, which included: (1) expert technical evaluations; (2) the use of Small Business Administration (SBA) evaluation criteria; and (3) systems to rate or rank research proposals and select awardees based on those ratings. GAO also found that: (1) while SBA requires award within 6 months of proposal receipt, many agencies take more than 6 months to award SBIR contracts and grants; (2) SBA agreed to monitor the amount of time agencies took to award SBIR contracts and grants; and (3) all of the agencies it reviewed implemented procedures to decrease the regulatory burden of SBIR on small businesses.

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