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Open Recommendations

Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development: USAID Needs to Develop a Targeting Process and Improve the Reliability of Its Monitoring

GAO-21-269
Mar 30, 2021
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6 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Agency for International Development The USAID Administrator should direct the Private Sector Engagement Hub or other appropriate entity to establish a method to identify the total funding subject to the WEEE Act's requirements in order to develop a process that provides reasonable assurance of compliance with the Act's requirements for targeting assistance to the very poor and women. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
United States Agency for International Development The USAID Administrator should direct the Private Sector Engagement Hub or other appropriate entity to provide information and guidance to bureaus and missions on their roles in meeting the agency's targeting requirement regarding the very poor. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
United States Agency for International Development The USAID Administrator should direct the Private Sector Engagement Hub or other appropriate entity to establish a definition for enterprises owned, managed, and controlled by women in order to develop a process that provides reasonable assurance of compliance with the WEEE Act's requirements for targeting assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises owned, managed, and controlled by women. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
United States Agency for International Development The USAID Administrator should direct the Private Sector Engagement Hub or other appropriate entity to disaggregate MSME data to distinguish among micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in order to develop a process that provides reasonable assurance of compliance with the WEEE Act's requirements for targeting assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises owned, managed, and controlled by women. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
United States Agency for International Development The USAID Administrator should direct the Private Sector Engagement Hub or other appropriate entity to develop a methodology to ensure that it collects data from all relevant missions and bureaus with micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise assistance. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
United States Agency for International Development The USAID Administrator should direct the Private Sector Engagement Hub or other appropriate entity to take steps to ensure the reliability of the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise assistance data reported to Congress. (Recommendation 6)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Small Business Administration: Disaster Loan Processing Was Timelier, but Planning Improvements and Pilot Program Evaluation Needed

GAO-20-168
Mar 09, 2020
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5 Open Recommendations
2 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Disaster Assistance
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Associate Administrator for the Office of Disaster Assistance should identify and document risks associated with its disaster response and plans to mitigate these risks in its disaster planning documentation. (Recommendation 1)
Open
SBA agreed with the recommendation. SBA noted that relevant agency offices would collaborate to identify and document known risks associated with SBA's disaster response and implement a risk-informed approach to its direct response and recovery operations.
Office of Disaster Assistance
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Associate Administrator for the Office of Disaster Assistance should identify the key elements of a disaster action plan and provide additional guidance to staff on how to incorporate these elements into future action plans. (Recommendation 2)
Open
SBA agreed with the recommendation. SBA noted that the agency would develop the key elements of and templates for a disaster action plan, provide guidance to field operations centers, and update the agency's Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan.
Office of Disaster Assistance The Associate Administrator for the Office of Disaster Assistance should update its outreach plan to include information on region-specific risks or challenges, such as those encountered after the 2017 hurricanes. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Office of Disaster Assistance The Associate Administrator for the Office of Disaster Assistance should establish metrics to measure the success of its outreach efforts during the response to a disaster. (Recommendation 4)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Office of Disaster Assistance The Associate Administrator for the Office of Capital Access should evaluate the implementation of the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program to determine why so few loans have been made and if any design changes may be warranted before the end of the pilot. Such an evaluation could include assessing SBA's outreach efforts and seeking feedback from lenders. (Recommendation 5)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Puerto Rico Electricity Grid Recovery: Better Information and Enhanced Coordination Is Needed to Address Challenges

GAO-20-141
Oct 08, 2019
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Emergency Management Agency The Administrator of FEMA should develop and provide clear written information in the form of policy, guidance, or regulations, as appropriate, to COR3 and PREPA that clarifies how FEMA will implement new authorities for the electricity grid recovery in Puerto Rico, including guidance on industry standards and defining resilience. (Recommendation 1)
Open
Since GAO's October 2019 report, FEMA updated its guidance and has provided information to local entities on project eligibility and the industry standards it would accept for restoring the grid. In addition, in January 2020, FEMA provided training to FEMA regional officials and local entities on how to implement this guidance. Despite these efforts, uncertainty remains regarding the extent to which local entities in Puerto Rico have sufficient information to implement projects to promote grid resilience. This is in part due to challenges such as the need for written guidance on how project development will proceed after the fixed-cost estimate is finalized. GAO will continue to monitor FEMA progress towards implementation of this recommendation.
Department of Housing and Urban Development The Secretary of HUD should establish time frames and a plan for publication of the grant process and requirements for CDBG-DR funding available for improvements to Puerto Rico's electricity grid. (Recommendation 2)
Open
As of August 2020, HUD had not published a federal notice outlining the grant process and requirements for CDBG-DR funding available for improvements to Puerto Rico's electricity grid, nor has it established time frames and a plan for issuing this notice. We continue to believe that the action we recommended is needed and will monitor HUD's efforts as part of our regular recommendation follow-up and additional work examining federal support to improve grid resilience in Puerto Rico. When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

2017 Disaster Relief Oversight: Strategy Needed to Ensure Agencies’ Internal Control Plans Provide Sufficient Information

GAO-19-479
Jun 28, 2019
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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Director of OMB, after consulting with key stakeholders (e.g., the Chief Financial Officers Council), should develop a strategy for ensuring that agencies communicate sufficient and timely internal control plans for effective oversight of disaster relief funds. (Recommendation 1)
Open
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) disagreed with our recommendation. In the agency's comment section of the GAO report, OMB staff stated that OMB did not believe the sufficiency or timeliness of control plans present material issues that warranted OMB action. While OMB acknowledged that almost all agency control plans were submitted after the statutory deadline, OMB staff stated that this delay in itself neither indicated the absence of controls nor the effectiveness of those controls. Further, OMB staff stated that it is agency management and not OMB that has responsibility for ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. While agencies were responsible for submitting their internal control plans, federal law placed the responsibility of establishing the criteria for the internal control plans with OMB. Therefore, we believe that our recommendation is warranted. In January 2020, OMB informed us that there are no additional updates at this time regarding status, actions, or timelines to develop a strategy. We will continue to monitor agency's actions to address this recommendation.
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