Audit Report 13-10: The Small Business Administration Did Not Effectively Assess Disaster Assistance Staffing Requirements, Availability, and Readiness

Date Issued: 
Friday, January 25, 2013
Report Number: 

This report presents the results of our audit of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Staffing and Mobilization activities.  The OIG found that it would be a challenge for the SBA to provide timely, quality assistance to the disaster victims during a catastrophe similar to the 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes.  Based on the Agency’s projections, the Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA) would need to acquire an additional 2,400 employees to effectively respond to a disaster of similar magnitude.  The OIG also found that the ODA does not have a process or written procedures to accurately identify the number of reserve staff available to respond to disasters.

The OIG recommended that the Agency (1) develop a plan that ensures the biennial simulation exercise includes an assessment of human capital necessary to respond to the level of disaster selected for the simulation exercise scenario; (2) implement a corrective action plan to address deficiencies identified during the biennial simulations; (3) develop a process that accurately identifies the total number of reserve staff available for mobilization and specifies the frequency of such an analysis; and (4) develop written procedures that define ODA’s process for determining the number of reserve staff available to respond to disasters