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  Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Language: English
The "8(a) Program" for Small Businesses Owned and Controlled by the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Legal Requirements and Issues

The "8(a) Program" for Small Businesses Owned and Controlled by the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Legal Requirements and Issues

Date: October 12, 2012
Creator: Manuel, Kate M. & Luckey, John R.
Description: This report provides a brief history of the 8(a) Program, summarizes key requirements, and discusses legal challenges alleging that the program's presumption that members of certain racial and ethnic groups are socially disadvantaged violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
8(a) Program: Fourteen Ineligible Firms Received $325 Million in Sole-Source and Set-Aside Contracts

8(a) Program: Fourteen Ineligible Firms Received $325 Million in Sole-Source and Set-Aside Contracts

Date: March 30, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration (SBA) helps socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses gain access to federal contracting opportunities through its 8(a) program. To participate, firms must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by an individual who meets SBA's criteria of socially and economically disadvantaged. The firm must also qualify as a small business. Once certified, 8(a) firms are eligible to receive sole-source and set-aside contracts for up to 9 years. GAO was asked to (1) determine whether ineligible firms are participating in the 8(a) program, (2) proactively test SBA's controls over the 8(a) application process, and (3) determine what vulnerabilities, if any, exist in SBA's fraud prevention system. To identify cases, GAO reviewed SBA data and complaints to GAO's fraud hotline. To perform its proactive testing, GAO created four bogus businesses and applied for 8(a) certification. GAO did not attempt to project the extent of fraud and abuse in the program."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
8(a) Program: The Importance of Effective Fraud Prevention Controls

8(a) Program: The Importance of Effective Fraud Prevention Controls

Date: March 3, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the results of our prior investigation of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program. SBA's 8(a) program, named for a section of the Small Business Act, is a development program created to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market. To participate in the program, a firm must be certified as meeting several criteria, including: be a small business as defined by SBA; be unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character and citizens of the United States; and show potential for success. Upon certification, firms can obtain federal contracts without competing fully and openly for the work. For example, agencies are permitted to enter into sole-source contracts after soliciting and negotiating with only one 8(a) company. They also can participate in restricted competitions for federal contracts, known as set-asides, open to only 8(a) companies. In March 2010, GAO issued two companion reports on the 8(a) program, one focused on internal control procedures and processes that SBA has implemented to ensure that only eligible firms participate ...
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401(K) Plans: Certain Investment Options and Practices That May Restrict Withdrawals Not Widely Understood

401(K) Plans: Certain Investment Options and Practices That May Restrict Withdrawals Not Widely Understood

Date: March 10, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "401(k) plan sponsors are responsible for offering an array of appropriate investment options, and participants are responsible for directing their investments among those options. While participants expect to be able to switch investment options or withdraw money from their accounts, during the recent economic downturn, some 401(k) plan sponsors and participants found that they were restricted from doing so. GAO was asked to (1) identify some of the specific investments and practices that prevented plan sponsors and participants from accessing their 401(k) plan assets and (2) determine any changes the Department of Labor (Labor) could make to assist sponsors in understanding the challenges posed by the investments and practices that restricted withdrawals. To do this, GAO reviewed relevant federal laws and regulations and consulted with experts, federal officials, service providers, and plan sponsors."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
401(K) Plans: Improved Regulation Could Better Protect Participants from Conflicts of Interest

401(K) Plans: Improved Regulation Could Better Protect Participants from Conflicts of Interest

Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Recent volatility in financial markets highlights the need for prudent investment decisions if 401(k) plans are to provide an adequate source of retirement income. While plan sponsors and participants may receive help in assessing their investment choices, concerns have been raised about the impartiality of the advice provided. GAO was asked to describe circumstances where service providers may have conflicts of interest in providing assistance related to the selection of investment options for (1) plan sponsors and (2) plan participants, and (3) steps the Department of Labor (Labor) has taken to address conflicts of interest related to the selection of investment options."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
401(k) Plans: Increased Educational Outreach and Broader Oversight May Help Reduce Plan Fees

401(k) Plans: Increased Educational Outreach and Broader Oversight May Help Reduce Plan Fees

Date: April 24, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Plan sponsors and participants paid a range of fees for services, though smaller plans typically paid higher fees as a percentage of plan assets. For example, the average amount sponsors of small plans reported paying for recordkeeping and administrative services was 1.33 percent of assets annually, compared with 0.15 percent paid by sponsors of large plans. Larger plans were more likely to pass recordkeeping fees along to participants, but when fees were passed along to participants in small plans, those in large plans paid lower fees than those in small plans. Participants also paid for investment and plan consulting fees—through fees deducted from their plan assets—in more instances than sponsors."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
401(k) Plans: Issues Involving Securities Lending in Plan Investments

401(k) Plans: Issues Involving Securities Lending in Plan Investments

Date: March 16, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Securities lending can be a relatively straightforward way for plan sponsors and participants to increase their return on 401(k) investments. However, securities lending can also present a number of challenges to plan participants and plan sponsors. GAO was asked to explain how securities lending with cash collateral reinvestment works in relation to 401(k) plan investments, who bears the risks, and what are some of the challenges plan participants and plan sponsors face in understanding securities lending with cash collateral reinvestment. In this testimony, GAO discusses its recent work regarding securities lending with cash collateral reinvestment. GAO is making no new recommendations in this statement but continues to believe that the Department of Labor (Labor) can take action to help plan sponsors of 401(k) plans and plan participants to understand the role, risk, and benefits of securities lending with cash collateral reinvestment in relation to 401(k) plan investments. Specifically, GAO recommended that Labor provide more guidance to plan sponsors about fees and returns when plan assets are utilized in securities lending with cash collateral reinvestment, amend its participant disclosure regulation to include provisions specific to securities lending with cash ...
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401(K) Plans: Labor and IRS Could Improve the Rollover Process for Participants

401(K) Plans: Labor and IRS Could Improve the Rollover Process for Participants

Date: March 7, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The current rollover process favors distributions to individual retirement accounts (IRA). Waiting periods to roll into a new employer plan, complex verification procedures to ensure savings are tax-qualified, wide divergences in plans' paperwork, and inefficient practices for processing rollovers make IRA rollovers an easier and faster choice, especially given that IRA providers often offer assistance to plan participants when they roll their savings into an IRA. The Department of Labor (Labor) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provide oversight and guidance for this process generally and can take steps to make plan-to-plan rollovers more efficient, such as reducing the waiting period to roll over into a 401(k) plan and improving the asset verification process. Such actions could help make staying in the 401(k) plan environment a more viable option, allowing participants to make distribution decisions based on their financial circumstances rather than on convenience."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
401(k) Plans: Other Countries' Experiences Offer Lessons in Policies and Oversight of Spend-down Options

401(k) Plans: Other Countries' Experiences Offer Lessons in Policies and Oversight of Spend-down Options

Date: November 20, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The six countries GAO reviewed can offer U.S. regulators lessons on how to expand access to a mix of spend-down options for 401(k) participants that meet various retirement needs. Five of the six countries generally ensure that participants can choose among three main plan options: a lump sum payment, a programmed withdrawal of participants' savings, or an annuity. In the last several decades, all the countries took steps to increase participant access to multiple spend-down options, with some first conducting reviews of participants' retirement needs that resulted in policy changes, as shown below. In the United States, 401(k) plans typically offer only lump sums, leaving some participants at risk of outliving their savings. The U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury (Treasury) have begun to explore the possibility of expanding options for participants, but have not yet helped plan sponsors address key challenges to offering a mix of options through their plan."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
501(c)(3) Organizations: What Qualifies as "Educational"?

501(c)(3) Organizations: What Qualifies as "Educational"?

Date: August 21, 2012
Creator: Lunder, Erika K.
Description: Report that discusses the legal definition of the term "educational," as well as the constitutional implications of that definition.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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