The Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its report on performance challenges facing the agency for fiscal year 2021, including a new challenge related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This report discusses several challenges and issues, many of which we have discussed in previous reports. Managing COVID 19 stimulus is the greatest overall challenge facing SBA currently,” said the annual OIG report, which catalogues expected agency management challenges for FY2021.

The report shows that the agency made progress addressing FY2020 management challenges overall, but still faces significant challenges, including some on the IT front.

The OIG identified eight challenges in the report, all of which were included in the prior year’s management challenge report:

  1. “SBA’s Economic Relief Programs are susceptible to fraud risks and vulnerabilities;
  2. Inaccurate procurement data and eligibility concerns in the Small Business Contracting Programs undermine the reliability of contracting goal achievements;
  3. SBA needs to improve oversight of IT investment and reduce IT security risks;
  4. SBA risk management and oversight practices need improvement to ensure the integrity of loan programs;
  5. SBA needs to administer the section 8(a) business development program effectively;
  6. Identification of improper payments in SBA’s loan programs remains a challenge;
  7. SBA’s disaster assistance program must balance competing priorities to deliver prompt assistance, but prevent potential fraud; and
  8. SBA needs robust grants management oversight.”

Agency progress in FY2020 is indicated by OIG’s removal from the FY2021 management challenges list of items dealing with: human capital; exclusions for determining government-wide Federal contracting goal-setting guidelines; portfolio risk management; and quality control programs to reduce improper payments.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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