Results Act:

Observations on SBA's September 30, 1997, Strategic Plan

T-RCED-98-31: Published: Oct 29, 1997. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1997.

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Judy A. England Joseph
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GAO discussed the September 30, 1997 strategic plan developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), pursuant to the Government Performance and Results Act.

GAO noted that: (1) SBA's plan represents an improvement over its March 1997 version; (2) the plan contains the six elements required by the Results Act; (3) the strategic goals, as a group, are more clearly linked to SBA's mission and are more amenable to measurement; (4) the strategies and performance measures are more clearly linked to the objectives that they are intended to achieve and measure; (5) other improvements in the plan encompass a mission statement that now includes the disaster loan program for families and more accurately reflects SBA's statutory authorities and a better recognition that SBA's success in achieving certain goals and objectives in the plan is dependent on the actions of others; (6) an additional section discusses how SBA's programs and activities interact with those of other federal agencies; (7) the plan could be further improved to better meet the purposes of the Results Act; (8) the relationship of one of the plan's goals, leading small business participation in the welfare-to-work effort, to SBA's mission is unclear; (9) the plan does not discuss the human, capital, and other resources needed by SBA to carry out the strategies identified in the plan; (10) the plan does not include comprehensive schedules of future program evaluations for major SBA programs; (11) the plan does not consistently link identified external factors to the particular goal or goals they could affect or describe how how each factor could affect the achievement of the goal; (12) in a departure from its March version, SBA's plan includes as appendices separate strategic plans for SBA's Office of Inspector General and Office of Advocacy; and (13) the relationship between the goals and objectives in the plans included in the appendices and those in SBA's plan is not explicit.

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