Status Report on GAO's Reviews of the Targeted Export Assistance Program, the Export Enhancement Program, and the GSM-102/103 Export Credit Guarantee Programs

T-NSIAD-90-12: Published: Nov 16, 1989. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 1989.

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GAO discussed the Foreign Agricultural Service's (FAS) management of the Targeted Export Assistance (TEA) Program, Export Enhancement Program (EEP), and the Export Credit Guarantee Programs. GAO noted that FAS: (1) lacked adequate internal controls for TEA, did not exercise sufficient program oversight, inadequately documented decisionmaking and participant contributions, and did not systematically require, track, or use participants' evaluations of export activities; (2) lacked a centralized tracking system to document the progress of EEP bids, did not sufficiently document the specific figures used to calculate final price and bonus levels, did not correct several previously identified internal control weaknesses, did not require exporters to document the existence of sales contracts prior to submitting bids, and lacked adequate internal controls over the processing and payments of bonuses to exporters; and (3) did not adequately manage the Export Credit Guarantee Programs, account for outstanding guarantees, ensure that guarantees were used for U.S. agricultural commodities, or provide guidance to program users. GAO believes that: (1) FAS could combine TEA and the Commodity Market Development Program to improve program administration and eliminate duplicative activities; (2) while some competitors and critics have challenged the effectiveness of EEP, it remains an important trade policy tool; and (3) the success of the Export Credit Guarantee Programs depended on the continued participation of financial institutions which provide direct credit to foreign buyers.

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