Small Business Administration Should Improve Reporting of Award Timeliness

The Government Accountability Office has recommended that the Small Business Administration come up with a plan to identify and carry out actions to improve the timely issuance of its annual congressional report on the timeliness of awards under the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

GAO found that SBA was between six to 16 months late in submitting its annual reports to Congress between fiscal years 2016 and 2021, according to a report published Wednesday.

“Without a comprehensive, documented analysis of its process for developing these annual reports, it is unclear whether SBA is missing opportunities to take action to improve the timeliness of its required reports,” the report states.

The congressional watchdog called on SBA to add information on SBIR and STTR award timeliness to its website to provide Congress and the public with an alternative source of data about the performance of agencies in meeting the required award notification and issuance time frames.

According to the report, civilian agencies issued 85 percent of their small business awards on time in the past six fiscal years compared with 65 percent by the Department of Defense.