Small Business Administration: Government Contracting and Business Development Processes and Rule-Making Activities


SBA has taken some steps to address weaknesses GAO and the SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG) have identified in its processes for certifying small businesses as eligible to participate in SBA programs, but some recommendations remain open. For example, GAO found in 2015 that SBA had not required firms seeking recertification for the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program to submit any information to verify continued eligibility and instead relied on firms’ attestations of continued eligibility. GAO recommended that SBA assess the HUBZone recertification process and add additional controls; SBA had not yet implemented this recommendation as of May 2017. SBA’s OIG also found in 2016 that SBA managers overturned lower-level reviewers’ decisions to deny firms admission to the 8(a) program without documenting in the information system how eligibility concerns were resolved. SBA’s OIG recommended that SBA clearly document the justification for approving or denying firms. In response, SBA stated that managers are now required to document decisions in the system that differ from those of lower-level reviewers.




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