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Small Business Administration: Management Practices Have Improved for the Women's Business Center Program

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This report evaluates how the Small Business Administration (SBA) has managed its Women's Business Center Program. GAO found that the two offices that run the program--the Office of WOmen's Business Ownership (program office) and the Office of Procurement and Grants (grants office)--have addressed the weaknesses cited in GAO's 1999 report. For example, files from the program office that GAO reviewed were generally complete, and the few documents that GAO could not locate were provided promptly. The program office was also able to provide various historical documents for 1999 and 2000, and the program office and grants office had tried to improve coordination with each other, such as through better recordkeeping."
Date: June 13, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Small Business Administration: Loan Origination and Debt Collection Processes

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Small Business Administration's (SBA) loan origination and debt collection processes, focusing on the extent to which SBA has established: (1) adequate loan origination procedures and consistently obtains the required documents and data necessary for determining whether loan applicants comply with the program's statutory, regulatory, and eligibility requirements and have any outstanding, delinquent federal debt; and (2) a systematic process for identifying and collecting delinquent debts, including a prompt referral of delinquent debts to the Department of the Treasury for offset and cross-servicing programs."
Date: November 30, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Information on the Women's Business Center Program

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Women's Business Center Program, focusing on: (1) a description of the women's business centers, including their funding status, their experiences in raising matching funds, the types of services offered in a women's business center's first and last year of grant funding, and the differences between parent and satellite centers; (2) the extent to which SBA's award criteria predict long-term success or failure of women's business centers; and (3) the Office of Women's Business Ownership's compliance with legislative reporting requirements and the inherent difficulties with obtaining the required data from the women's business centers."
Date: September 2, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: A Review of SBA's Estimate of Impact of Legislative Proposals for the 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) estimate of the impact of legislative proposals on the 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program, focusing on: (1) how SBA prepared estimates of H.R. 2615's impact on the average size and number of loans SBA makes; (2) ways that SBA could have improved its estimates; (3) how SBA analyzed the impact of the legislative proposals on the credit subsidy rate for the 7(a) loan program; and (4) ways to improve this analysis."
Date: December 15, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Progress Continues in Addressing Reforms to the Disaster Loan Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "After the Small Business Administration (SBA) was widely criticized for its performance following the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, the agency took steps to reform its Disaster Loan Program. Congress also enacted the Small Business Disaster Response and Loan Improvements Act of 2008 (Act), which places new requirements on SBA to better ensure it is prepared to respond to catastrophic disasters. This testimony discusses SBA's progress in addressing certain requirements of the Act and recommendations in a 2009 GAO report to improve the Disaster Loan Program. In completing this statement, GAO reviewed and updated, as appropriate, the July 2009 report, Small Business Administration: Additional Steps Should Be Taken to Address Reforms to the Disaster Loan Program and Improve the Application Process for Future Disasters (GAO-09-755). In that report, GAO recommended that SBA should fulfill the Act's region-specific marketing and outreach requirements; complete its annual report to Congress; issue an updated Disaster Recovery Plan; develop an implementation plan for remaining requirements; and develop procedures to further improve the application process for the Disaster Loan Program. SBA generally agreed with the recommendations and stated the agency's plan to incorporate them into its ongoing efforts to implement the Act and improve the application process."
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: 7(a) Program's General Characteristics and Summary of Issues

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 7(a) General Business Loan Program, focusing on: (1) the general characteristics of the 7(a) program, including how the program operates; (2) certain issues, such as the lack of coordinated lender oversight, that have been identified in recent studies and reports on the program; and (3) how SBA has responded to these issues."
Date: May 26, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Section 7(a) General Business Loans Credit Subsidy Estimates

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The process and types of data the Small Business Administration (SBA) uses to estimate the subsidy cost of the 7(a)General Business Loan Program are generally reasonable and comply with existing Office of Management and Budget guidance. GAO's review of actual and originally estimated defaults and recoveries showed that, on a cumulative basis since 1992, defaults were overestimated by approximately $2 billion and recoveries were overestimated by approximately $450 million. During this same period, SBA overestimated the cost of the 7(a) program by $958 million as evidenced from a trend of downward reestimates. The majority of these downward reestimates can be attributed to the overestimate of defaults. For those loan guarantees approved from fiscal years 1992 through 1997, GAO was unable to determine the specific reason for the overestimate of defaults primarily because the basis SBA used for the estimated default rate for these years was not documented. During this period reestimates account for approximately 84 percent of the total $958 million reestimate. SBA began using its current methodology in 1998. Under this method, high default rates associated with loan guarantees approved in fiscal years 1986 through 1990 contributed to the difference between estimated and actual defaults for loan guarantees approved from 1998 through 2000. SBA has proposed to the Office of Management and Budget another methodology that uses the five most recent years of actual loan performance prior to each activity year being estimated--referred to as the lookback period--rather than the current approach. The proposed method would be more sensitive to fluctuations in economic conditions or changes in program delivery or design because it uses a shorter lookback period. The benefit of this approach is that, in a continuing stable economy, the original subsidy cost estimate would be ...
Date: August 21, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Status of Mandated Planning for Loan Monitoring System

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) efforts to complete the mandated planning actions for the development of its loan monitoring system."
Date: February 24, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Undercover Tests Show HUBZone Program Remains Vulnerable to Fraud and Abuse

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the results of our investigation of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program. In fiscal year 2009, federal agencies obligated nearly $3 billion in sole source or set-aside contracts to firms participating in the HUBZone program. Created in 1997, the program provides federal contracting assistance to small businesses located in HUBZones--economically distressed areas with low income levels or high unemployment rates. Qualified businesses in these areas are eligible to bid on federal prime contracts and subcontracts available exclusively to program participants, in addition to benefiting from other contracting preferences. The SBA must certify that a small business meets the following criteria to qualify for the program: the firm must be owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens; at least 35 percent of full-time employees must live in a HUBZone; and the principal office, where most qualifying employees work, must be in a HUBZone. According to the SBA's Dynamic Small Business Web site, as of July 2010, 9,300 firms were participating in the program. Over the last 2 years, we have reported on fraud and abuse and other concerns with the HUBZone program. In July 2008, we testified that the SBA's lack of an effective fraud prevention program meant its application process could not provide reasonable assurance that only eligible firms were being certified to participate in the program. Using fictitious employee and owner information and fabricated documentation, we easily obtained HUBZone certification for four bogus firms. We also identified 10 firms from the Washington, D.C., metro area that participated in the program even though they did not meet eligibility criteria. In March 2009, we reported on 19 additional HUBZone firms from Alabama, California, and Texas that were not eligible ...
Date: July 28, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: 7(a) Loan Program Needs Additional Performance Measures

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration's (SBA) 7(a) program, initially established in 1953, provides loan guarantees to small businesses that cannot obtain credit in the conventional lending market. In fiscal year 2006, the program assisted more than 80,000 businesses with loan guarantees of nearly $14 billion. This testimony, based on a 2007 report, discusses (1) the 7(a) program's purpose and the performance measures SBA uses to assess the program's results; (2) evidence of any market constraints that may affect small businesses' access to credit in the conventional lending market; (3) the segments of the small business lending market that were served by 7(a) loans and the segments that were served by conventional loans; and (4) 7(a) program's credit subsidy costs and the factors that may cause uncertainty about these costs."
Date: November 1, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Preliminary Views on Increasing Collaboration with Department of Agriculture Rural Development Offices

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development offices share a mission of attending to underserved markets, promoting economic development, and improving the quality of life in America through the promotion of entrepreneurship and community development. In the past, these agencies have had cooperative working relationships to help manage their respective rural loan and economic development programs. At this subcommittee's request, GAO has undertaken a review of potential opportunities for SBA to seek increased collaboration and cooperation with USDA Rural Development (Rural Development), particularly given Rural Development's large and recognizable presence in rural communities. In this testimony, GAO provides preliminary views on (1) mechanisms that SBA and USDA have used to facilitate collaboration with other federal agencies and with each other; (2) the organization of SBA and USDA Rural Development field offices; and (3) the planned approach for GAO's recently initiated evaluation on collaboration between SBA and Rural Development. GAO discussed the contents of this testimony with SBA and USDA officials."
Date: November 14, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Response to the Gulf Coast Hurricanes Highlights Need for Enhanced Disaster Preparedness

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration (SBA) helps individuals and businesses recover from disasters such as hurricanes through its Disaster Loan Program. SBA faced an unprecedented demand for disaster loan assistance following the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, and Wilma), which resulted in extensive property damage and loss of life. In the aftermath of these disasters, concerns were expressed regarding the timeliness of SBA's disaster assistance. GAO initiated work and completed two reports under the Comptroller General's authority to conduct evaluations and determine how well SBA provided victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes with timely assistance. This testimony, which is based on these two reports, discusses (1) challenges SBA experienced in providing victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes with timely assistance, (2) factors that contributed to these challenges, and (3) steps SBA has taken since the Gulf Coast hurricanes to enhance its disaster preparedness. GAO visited the Gulf Coast region, reviewed SBA planning documents, and interviewed SBA officials."
Date: February 14, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Preliminary Views on Issues Related to the Women's Business Center Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides training and counseling services to women entrepreneurs through the Women's Business Center (WBC) program. With approximately $12 million in fiscal year 2007, SBA funded awards to 99 WBCs. However, Congress and WBCs have expressed concerns about the uncertain nature of the program's funding structure. Concerns have also been raised about the possibility that the WBC and two other SBA programs, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and SCORE programs, are duplicating each other's efforts. This testimony discusses preliminary views on (1) uncertainties associated with the funding process for WBCs; (2) SBA's oversight of the WBC program; and (3) actions that SBA and WBCs have taken to avoid duplication among the WBC, SBDC, and SCORE programs. GAO reviewed policies, procedures, examinations, and studies related to the funding, oversight, and services of WBCs and interviewed SBA, WBC, SBDC, and SCORE officials."
Date: September 20, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Status of Efforts to Address Previous Recommendations on the HUBZone Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program. Created in 1997, the HUBZone program provides federal contracting assistance to small businesses located in economically distressed communities, or HUBZone areas, with the intent of stimulating economic development in those areas. In fiscal year 2007, federal agencies awarded contracts valued at about $8 billion to HUBZone firms. Firms that participate in the program must be located in a HUBZone and employ residents of HUBZones to facilitate the goal of bringing capital and employment opportunities to distressed areas. My statement today is based on work we performed to update the status of recommendations we made in our June 2008 report on the HUBZone program and reiterated in a July 2008 testimony. These recommendations called for SBA to improve its controls over the HUBZone program and assess the program's effectiveness. Specifically, this testimony discusses SBA's progress in (1) ensuring that the HUBZone map is accurate; (2) developing and implementing guidance to ensure that participating firms are eligible; (3) eliminating the backlog of recertifications; (4) formalizing and adhering to time frames for decertifying ineligible firms; and (5) developing measures and implementing plans to assess the effectiveness of the program."
Date: March 25, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Additional Actions Are Needed to Certify and Monitor HUBZone Businesses and Assess Program Results

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program provides federal contracting assistance to small firms located in economically distressed areas, with the intent of stimulating economic development. Questions have been raised about whether the program is targeting the locations and businesses that Congress intended to assist. This testimony focuses on (1) the criteria and process that SBA uses to identify and map HUBZone areas; (2) the mechanisms SBA uses to ensure that only eligible small businesses participate in the program; and (3) the actions SBA has taken to assess the results of the program and the extent to which federal agencies have met HUBZone contracting goals. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed statutory provisions as well as SBA, Census, and contracting data and interviewed SBA and other federal and local officials."
Date: July 17, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Steps Taken to Better Manage Its Human Capital, but More Needs to Be Done

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Small Business Administration's (SBA) efforts to identify its current and future workforce needs, budget for them and manage them strategically."
Date: July 20, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Response to the Gulf Coast Hurricanes Highlights Need for Enhanced Disaster Preparedness

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration (SBA) helps individuals and businesses recover from disasters such as hurricanes through its Disaster Loan Program. SBA faced an unprecedented demand for disaster loan assistance following the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, and Wilma), which resulted in extensive property damage and loss of life. In the aftermath of these disasters, concerns were expressed regarding the timeliness of SBA's disaster assistance. GAO initiated work and completed two reports under the Comptroller General's authority to conduct evaluations and determine how well SBA provided victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes with timely assistance. This testimony, which is based on these two reports, discusses (1) challenges SBA experienced in providing victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes with timely assistance, (2) factors that contributed to these challenges, and (3) steps SBA has taken since the Gulf Coast hurricanes to enhance its disaster preparedness. GAO visited the Gulf Coast region, reviewed SBA planning documents, and interviewed SBA officials."
Date: July 25, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Continued Attention Needed to Address Reforms to the Disaster Loan Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "After the Small Business Administration (SBA) was widely criticized for its performance following the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, the agency took steps to reform its Disaster Loan Program. Congress also enacted the Small Business Disaster Response and Loan Improvements Act of 2008 (Act), which places new requirements on SBA to ensure it is prepared for catastrophic disasters. This testimony discusses (1) the extent to which SBA has addressed the Act's requirements, and (2) how SBA's response to major disasters in 2008 aligned with key components of its June 2007 Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). In completing this statement, GAO reviewed and updated, as appropriate, the July 2009 report, Small Business Administration: Additional Steps Should Be Taken to Address Reforms to the Disaster Loan Program and Improve the Application Process for Future Disasters (GAO-09-755). In that report, GAO recommended that SBA should fulfill the Act's region-specific marketing and outreach requirements; complete its annual report to Congress; issue an updated DRP; develop an implementation plan for remaining requirements; and develop procedures to further improve the application process for the Disaster Loan Program."
Date: May 19, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Improvements Made, but Loan Programs Face Ongoing Management Challenges

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration's (SBA) purpose is to promote small business development and entrepreneurship through business financing, government contracting, and technical assistance programs. SBA's largest business financing program is its 7(a) program, which provides guarantees on loans made by private-sector lenders to small businesses that cannot obtain financing under reasonable terms and conditions from the private sector. In addition, SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance makes direct loans to households to repair or replace damaged homes and personal property and to businesses to help with physical damage and economic losses. This testimony, which is based on a number of reports that GAO issued since 1998, discusses (1) changes in SBA's oversight of the 7(a) business loan program; (2) steps SBA has taken to improve its management of information technology, human capital, and financial reporting for business loans; and (3) SBA's administration of its disaster loan program."
Date: April 6, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Additional Steps Should Be Taken to Address Reforms to the Disaster Loan Program and Improve the Application Process for Future Disasters

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses our work on reforms made to the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Disaster Loan Program and the impact those reforms had following recent disasters. SBA plays a critical role in assisting the victims of natural and other declared disasters. SBA provides financial assistance through its Disaster Loan Program to help homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and nonprofits recover from disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and terrorist attacks. Since the agency's inception in 1953, SBA has approved more than $46 billion in disaster loans for homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. After the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, and Wilma), SBA faced an unprecedented demand for disaster loans, while also being confronted with a significant backlog of applications; therefore, hundreds of thousands of loans were not disbursed in a timely way. Many criticized SBA for what was perceived to be a slow and confusing response to the disasters and one that exposed many deficiencies in the agency's Disaster Loan Program and demonstrated the need for reform. For example, as we stated in our February 2007 report, SBA did not engage in or complete comprehensive disaster plans before the Gulf Coast hurricanes, and this limited logistical disaster planning likely contributed to the initial challenges the agency faced in responding to the 2005 hurricanes. As a result, Congress and SBA agreed that the program needed significant improvements. Since then, SBA has taken several steps to reform its Disaster Loan Program which include creating an online loan application, increasing the capacity of its Disaster Credit Management System (DCMS), and developing a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). In June 2008, Congress enacted the Small Business Disaster Response and Loan Improvements Act (Act) to expand steps taken by SBA and require new ...
Date: July 29, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Loan Accounting and Other Financial Management Issues Impair Accountability

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Recently, the Small Business Administration's (SBA) auditors withdrew their unqualified audit opinions on SBA's fiscal year 2000 and 2001 financial statements and issued disclaimers of opinion. The auditors also issued a disclaimer of opinion on SBA's fiscal year 2002 financial statements. This turn of events was primarily due to flaws in the way SBA accounted for its loan sales and for the remaining portfolio. There were also several other issues affecting SBA's fiscal year 2002 audit, including key internal control weaknesses and systems that did not substantially comply with the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act. The information GAO presents in this testimony, which is discussed in greater detail in our January 2003 report, Small Business Administration: Accounting Anomalies and Limited Operational Data Make Results of Loan Sales Uncertain (GAO-03-87), is intended to assist Congress in assessing the current status of financial accountability at SBA."
Date: April 29, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Observations on the Disaster Loan Program

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the role of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Disaster Loan Program in responding to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, general performance measures for the program, and the effects of SBA's program to sell loans to private investors on disaster loans and their borrowers. In reviewing SBA's loan sales program, which includes disaster loans, we identified three areas needing improvement: tracking borrower inquiries and complaints; sales budgeting and accounting which affect the reliability of SBA financial statements and budget information; and reporting on the operational benefits of the loans sales. This testimony focuses on SBA's (1) response to the September 11 terrorist attacks; (2) performance plans and measures for its Disaster Loan program; and (3) loan assets sales program, which involves selling disaster and other loans."
Date: May 1, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Administration: Workforce Transformation Plan Is Evolving

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Small Business Administration (SBA) has made organizational structure and service delivery changes during the past 10 years. However, ineffective lines of communication, confusion over the mission of district offices, complicated and overlapping organizational relationships, and a field structure not consistently matched with mission requirements all combine to impede SBA staff efforts to deliver services effectively. SBA's structural inefficiencies stem in part from realignment efforts during the mid-1990s that changed SBA's functions but left aspects of the previous structure intact, congressional influence over the location of field offices and centers, and legislative requirements such as specified reporting relationships. In response to GAO's findings and additional challenges identifies by the Office of Management and Budget and the SBA Inspector General, SBA recently announced a draft 5-year workforce transformation plan that discusses many of GAO's findings regarding the difficulties posed by its current structure. Organizational alignment is crucial if an agency is to maximize its performance and accountability. As SBA executes its workforce transformation plan, it should employ strategies common to successful transformation efforts both here and abroad. Successful efforts begin with instilling senior-level leadership, responsibility, and accountability for organizational results and transformation efforts. Organizations that have successful undertaken transformation efforts also typically use strategic planning and human capital management, alignment of activities, processes, and resources, and internal and external collaboration to underpin their efforts."
Date: July 16, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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 ...
Date: April 30, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department