Export-Import Bank: Additional Analysis and Information Could Better Inform Congress on Exposure, Risk, and Resources

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) Business Plan reported that Ex-Im's exposure limits were appropriate, the forecasting process used to reach this conclusion has weaknesses. Congress increased the Ex-Im exposure limit--the limit on Ex-Im's total aggregate outstanding amount of financing--to $120 billion in 2012, with provisions for additional increases to $130 billion in 2013 and $140 billion in 2014. Although Ex-Im's forecast model is sensitive to key assumptions, GAO found that Ex-Im did not reassess these assumptions to reflect changing conditions or conduct sensitivity analyses to assess ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 30, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "While the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) Business Plan reported that Ex-Im's exposure limits were appropriate, the forecasting process used to reach this conclusion has weaknesses. Congress increased the Ex-Im exposure limit--the limit on Ex-Im's total aggregate outstanding amount of financing--to $120 billion in 2012, with provisions for additional increases to $130 billion in 2013 and $140 billion in 2014. Although Ex-Im's forecast model is sensitive to key assumptions, GAO found that Ex-Im did not reassess these assumptions to reflect changing conditions or conduct sensitivity analyses to assess and report the range of potential outcomes. GAO used historical data in lieu of these assumptions and found that Ex-Im's forecast of exposure could be higher than the limit set by Congress for 2014. GAO's cost guidance calls for agencies' assumptions and forecasts to be supported by historical data and experience, and a sensitivity analysis, which can assess the effect of changes in assumptions. Because Ex-Im has not taken these steps, the reliability of its forecasts is diminished. This is of particular concern because Ex-Im projects that its outstanding financing in the future will be closer to its exposure limit than it has been historically. Consequently, any forecast errors could result in the bank having to take actions, such as delaying financing for creditworthy projects, to avoid exceeding its limit."

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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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  • May 30, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Export-Import Bank: Additional Analysis and Information Could Better Inform Congress on Exposure, Risk, and Resources, report, May 30, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300422/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.