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Priority Open Recommendations: Small Business Administration

GAO-24-107299 Published: May 31, 2024. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2024.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help the federal government save money, address issues on our High Risk List, and significantly improve government operations.

This letter to the Small Business Administration outlines 13 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, we recommended that SBA develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that veterans are given special consideration in its small business loan programs, as required by law.

SBA implemented 4 recommendations we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

Graphic that says, "GAO's Priority Open Recommendations" and includes the SBA seal.

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What GAO Found

In May 2023, GAO identified 13 priority recommendations for the Small Business Administration (SBA). Since then, SBA has implemented four of those recommendations, including by finalizing fraud risk strategies and by using data analytics to detect potentially fraudulent recipients in certain COVID-19 relief programs.

In March 2024, GAO identified four additional priority recommendations for SBA, bringing the total number to 13. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • Improving oversight and communication for COVID-19 pandemic response,
  • Enhancing disaster recovery efforts,
  • Improving export promotion operations,
  • Addressing cybersecurity challenges,  
  • Meeting reporting requirements in a more timely manner, and
  • Supporting veteran-owned small businesses.

SBA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

For more information, contact Daniel Garcia Diaz at (202) 512-8678 or

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CommunicationCompliance oversightCybersecurityDisaster responsepandemicsDisaster recoveryExport promotionHigh-risk issuesService-disabled veteran-owned small businessVeterans