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Priority Open Recommendations: Small Business Administration

GAO-23-106377 Published: May 15, 2023. Publicly Released: May 22, 2023.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help the federal government save money, address issues on our High Risk List, and significantly improve government operations.

This letter to the Small Business Administration outlines 13 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, SBA provided billions of dollars to businesses during the pandemic, but didn't fully assess the potential for fraud. Doing so could improve SBA's ability to safeguard taxpayer dollars.

SBA implemented 8 recommendations we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

graphic of GAO's 2023 Priority Recommendations for SBA

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What GAO Found

In June 2022, GAO identified 15 priority recommendations for the Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA has implemented eight of those recommendations, including developing fraud risk assessments for the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans and taking measures to improve grantees' compliance with export promotion funding requirements.

In May 2023, GAO identified six additional priority recommendations for SBA, bringing the total number to 13. The recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Improving oversight and communication for COVID-19 pandemic response.
  • Enhancing disaster recovery efforts.
  • Improving export promotions operations.
  • Addressing cybersecurity challenges.
  • Meeting reporting requirements in a more timely manner.

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 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 Daniel Garcia-Diaz at (202) 512-8678 or

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