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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Minority Business Development Agency's (MBDA) operations, focusing on: (1) MBDA review and approval of competitive grant applications; (2) MBDA staffing levels and work load; and (3) client satisfaction with management, marketing, and technical assistance MBDA provided through its network of Minority Business Development Centers.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce 1. The Secretary of Commerce should instruct the Director, MBDA, to, in his reevaluation of the grant process: (1) determine, in cooperation with other pertinent Commerce officials, whether actions taken to correct problems that have delayed the processing of grant applications are effective, and if not, develop alternative solutions; and (2) develop solutions for other quality control problems that exist with grant applications and problems that continue to contribute to delays in the funding of centers.
Closed - Implemented
MBDA implemented recommendations from the private consulting firm the agency hired. The hiring of a consulting firm was one of the major corrective actions proposed by MBDA to address GAO findings and recommendations.
Department of Commerce 2. The Secretary of Commerce should direct the Director, MBDA, as part of his effort to examine agency staffing, to determine how to either: (1) better utilize existing staff resources through the expansion of their roles and responsibilities; or (2) reduce staff to realistically reflect the agency's work load.
Closed - Implemented
MBDA hired a private consulting firm to examine the agency's utilization of its personnel. The consulting firm has issued a new organizational plan for MBDA and has recommended expansion of existing staffs' roles and responsibilities.

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