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OIG Reports

Memorandum Audit Report 9-07: On-line Women's Business Center Cooperative Agreement

Date Issued: 
Monday, March 22, 1999
Report Number: 
9-07

On March 22, 1999, the OIG issued Memorandum Audit Report 9-07, On-line Women's Business Center Cooperative Agreement.  The OIG conducted an audit of the SBA cooperative agreement that partially funded the On-line Women's Business Center (OWBC) in Dallas, Texas.  The OWBC was established in 1996 when SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership recognized that the Internet could maximize provision of business information and assistance to women business owners.  The SBA entered into a cooperative agreement with the North Texas Women's Business Development Center to create the OWBC and provide on­ line counseling and technical assistance to women interested in starting or expanding businesses.  Modification number 2 of the cooperative agreement required that the recipient provide matching funds equal to 50 percent of Federal funds for year one and 100 percent for year two. As of September 9, 1998, the OWBC had received $480,000 in Federal funding and reported matching funds (cash and in-kind) totaling $315,001.

The objective of the audit was to determine whether claimed costs were allowable.  Judgmental samples with emphasis on large dollar amounts, were used to test costs allocated to the first two program years.  The OIG reviewed the cooperative agreement, program regulations, accounting records, and cost documentation.  Auditors also interviewed North Texas Women's Business Development Center board members, OWBC officials, and SBA officials.  The audit was performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards.

The OIG determined that $3,822 of claimed costs for a computer was unallowable.  Further, the OWBC purchased office supplies and airline tickets from companies owned by North Texas Women's Business Development Center board members, creating the appearance of a conflict of interest, and OWBC's record keeping needed improvement.  The Director of the Office of Procurement and Grants Management verbally concurred with all findings and agreed to implement the recommendations.