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Priority Open Recommendations: Small Business Administration

GAO-22-105566 Published: Jun 03, 2022. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2022.
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Fast Facts

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

This report outlines our 15 priority open recommendations for the Small Business Administration as of June 2022. A number of these recommendations focus on improving oversight over billions in COVID relief funds and enhancing disaster recovery efforts.

Since our previous letter in June 2021, SBA implemented 3 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In June 2021, GAO identified 15 priority recommendations for the Small Business Administration (SBA). Since then, SBA implemented three of those recommendations, including by developing and implementing an oversight plan for Paycheck Protection Program loans and by taking measures to improve lender compliance with a 7(a) program requirement.

In February 2022, GAO identified three additional priority recommendations for SBA, bringing the total number to 15. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Improving oversight and communication for COVID-19 pandemic response.
  • Enhancing disaster recovery efforts.
  • Improving export promotion operations.

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

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional 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 Dan Garcia-Diaz at (202) 512-8678 or

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Compliance oversightDisaster recoveryDisaster reliefExport promotionHigh-risk issuespandemicsSmall businessRisk assessmentDisastersBest practices