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    Subject Term: Exporting

    1 publication with a total of 1 open recommendation including 1 priority recommendation
    Director: Yager, Loren
    Phone: (202)512-4347

    1 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To more effectively implement SBA's expansion of OIT field staff as required by the SBJA, the Administrator of the SBA should update SBA's plan for additional OIT staff to include funding sources and time frames, as well as possible efficiencies from clearly defining roles and responsibilities and leveraging other entities' export assistance resources.

    Agency: Small Business Administration
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: SBA concurred with our recommendations and said they would respond to a Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (SBJA) requirement that a total of 30 export finance specialists be hired nationwide by September 2012, but noted resource constraints. In November 2014, SBA officials said the agency was in the process of evaluating the impact of Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments (VSIP) retirements that took place at the end of fiscal year 2014 and was developing a plan for reallocating full-time employees (FTEs). They said that at the end of this process, SBA would have a better understanding of the impact on current and future USEAC staffing levels. In September 2015, SBA stated that it was still in the process of evaluating the impact of the VERA/VSIP retirements that took place and was developing a plan for current and future FTEs. In February 2016, SBA's Office of International Trade (OIT) reported that in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, it was able to fill 21 of the 30 USEAC-based Export Finance Specialist positions. OIT also reported that it has prepared an updated staffing proposal for the remaining nine positions called for under the SBJA. OIT noted that filling the remaining nine positions would depend on their receiving additional agency funding. In March 2017, we were told SBA's new leadership was reviewing agency budget and staffing needs but in November 2017, SBA officials told us they had no plans to fill the remaining vacancies due to budget constraints. SBA needs to provide a plan with funding sources and timeframes for complying with the SBJA's staffing requirements, provide evidence that they have reallocated resources and have actually done so.