Small Business Administration: Progress Made but Improvements Needed in Lender Oversight

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible for oversight of its 7(a) loan program lenders, including those who participate in the Preferred Lenders Program or PLP. SBA delegates full authority to preferred lenders to make loans without prior SBA approval. In fiscal year 2002, preferred lenders approved 55 percent of the dollar value of all 7(a) loans--about $7 billion. Small businesses are certainly a vital part of the nation's economy. According to SBA, they generate more than half of the nation's gross domestic product and are the principal ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. April 30, 2003.

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible for oversight of its 7(a) loan program lenders, including those who participate in the Preferred Lenders Program or PLP. SBA delegates full authority to preferred lenders to make loans without prior SBA approval. In fiscal year 2002, preferred lenders approved 55 percent of the dollar value of all 7(a) loans--about $7 billion. Small businesses are certainly a vital part of the nation's economy. According to SBA, they generate more than half of the nation's gross domestic product and are the principal source of new jobs in the U.S. economy. In turn, SBA's mission is to maintain and strengthen the nation's economy by aiding, counseling, assisting, and protecting the interests of small businesses. Providing small businesses with access to credit is a major avenue through which SBA strives to fulfill its mission. Strong oversight of lenders by SBA is needed to protect SBA from financial risk and to ensure that qualified borrowers get 7(a) loans. SBA has a total portfolio of about $46 billion, including $42 billion in direct and guaranteed small business loans and other guarantees. Because SBA guarantees up to 85 percent of the 7(a) loans made by its lending partners, there is risk to SBA if the loans are not repaid. SBA must ensure that lenders provide loans to borrowers who are eligible and creditworthy to protect the integrity of the 7(a) program. Our statement today is based on the report we issued December 9, 2002, Small Business Administration: Progress Made but Improvements Needed in Lender Oversight (GAO-03-90). The report and our remarks will focus on our evaluation of (1) SBA's 7(a) lender oversight program and (2) SBA's organizational alignment for conducting oversight of preferred lenders and Small Business Lending Companies (SBLC). In addition, we will comment on SBA's latest response to our findings and recommendations. Our overall objective is to provide the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship with information and perspectives to consider as it moves forward on SBA reauthorization."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 30, 2003

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Small Business Administration: Progress Made but Improvements Needed in Lender Oversight, text, April 30, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289476/: accessed July 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.