Committee Exposes Program Duplication at the SBA

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Washington, Apr 30 | comments
The House Small Business Committee, chaired by Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), today examined several initiatives created by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the agency’s duplication of entrepreneurial development programs provided by both the federal and private sector.

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found overlap and duplication among 52 programs meant to support entrepreneurial endeavors at the USDA, Commerce, HUD and SBA. Despite this finding, SBA has created even more entrepreneurial initiatives, which lack congressional approval and adequate performance metrics, and has asked for funding at rates comparatively higher than for programs with long-standing track records and congressional approval. Notably, the SBA requested a total of $33 million for their own SBA-created initiatives – an increase of $12 million from what was requested and appropriated in FY2014 – while Congressionally-approved program funding requests remained static.

“The SBA is experimenting with unproven programs that could detract from the SBA’s core programs,” said Chairman Graves. “These initiatives from the SBA were started without the input and oversight of Congress that could help limit inefficiencies, waste or duplication. A 2012 GAO review found that widespread duplication is a problem throughout federal agencies, particularly within the various entrepreneurial development programs, and the SBA appears to be adding to the confusion. The essential functions of the SBA are to help provide small business access to capital, promote federal contracting with small firms, and provide entrepreneurial counseling. The Obama Administration has seemed preoccupied with creating new bureaucratic layers that duplicate these services, yet without devising adequate performance measures. Where is the assurance that these new programs are needed and effectively use taxpayers’ dollars to assist entrepreneurs as they start and grow businesses and create jobs?”

Materials for the hearing are available on the Committee’s website HERE.

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Tags: Oversight