Fiscal Year 2008 Report on the Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Small Business Administration
Date Issued: Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Report Number: 08-01

MEMORANDUM

TO: Steven C. Preston
Administrator

<Original signed by:>

FROM: Eric M. Thorson
Inspector General

SUBJECT: Fiscal Year 2008 Report on the Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Small Business Administration

In accordance with the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, we are providing you with the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Report on the Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Small Business Administration (SBA). This report represents our current assessment of Agency programs and/or activities that pose significant risks, including those that are particularly vulnerable to
fraud, waste, error, mismanagement, or inefficiencies.
The Challenges are not presented in order of priority, as we believe that all are critical management or performance issues facing the Agency.
Our report is based on specific OIG, Government Accountability Office, and other official reports, as well as our general knowledge of SBA’s programs and operations.

Our analysis generally considers those accomplishments that SBA reported as of September 30, 2007.

The Agency continues to demonstrate substantial progress in resolving the Challenges.

For example, SBA’s efforts to identify and address the underlying causes of its financial management issues, improve the models for estimating the Agency’s subsidy costs, strengthen controls over financial statement preparation, and adhere to all reporting deadlines has resulted in two successive unqualified audit opinions on its financial statements. Recognizing this accomplishment, our FY 2008 report reflects the
elimination of one of the Challenges in last year’s report: “SBA faces significant challenges in financial management and reporting, which affects its ability to provide reliable, timely, and accurate financial information” (formerly Challenge 2). The
Challenges have been renumbered to reflect this change.
Within each Management Challenge there are a series of “recommended actions” to resolve the Challenge. Each recommended action is assigned a color “status” score,
except for Management Challenge 3, which was substantially revised in May 2007 to reflect our current assessment of the difficult issues facing the Agency's human capital management program.

The scores are as follows: Green for Implemented; Yellow for Substantial Progress; Orange for Some Progress; and Red for No Progress. An upwards arrow in
the color box indicates that the color score improved over last year’s report. As part of the OIG’s continuing evaluation of the Management Challenges, certain Challenges have been updated or revised.

Actions that were scored Green last year, and which remained Green this year, have been moved
up to the “history bar,” which is located above the action items. The history bar helps to show any progress that the Agency has made on the Challenge over the past four fiscal years (or as long as the Challenge has existed, if shorter) by reporting the number of actions that moved to
Green each year.

Following is a summary of the FY 2008 report on the Agency’s Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges.

To see the table and the complete report please see the attached document.