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Evaluation of SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program

Date Issued: 
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Report Number: 
19-17

This evaluation report presents the results of our review of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) All Small Mentor-Protégé program, to determine whether SBA implemented effective controls to ensure that it conducted initial application reviews and annual evaluations in accordance with program regulations and that it measured program success. SBA established the All Small Mentor-Protégé program in 2016 to extend SBA-approved mentor-protégé relationships to all small businesses. The program seeks to develop protégé firms through mentor-provided business development assistance and to help protégé firms successfully compete for federal contracts.

We determined that SBA did not implement effective controls to ensure it conducted initial application reviews and annual evaluations to fully align with program regulations. Additionally, SBA did not fully adhere to established processes or ensure it appropriately documented assessments. Further, while SBA identified program performance indicators and a process to measure results, it did not effectively monitor and evaluate the results. As a result, SBA’s program may not be developing small businesses as it intended and unqualified businesses, including large businesses, may improperly benefit from the program.

We made four recommendations to improve the overall management and effectiveness of the program’s application and annual evaluation processes. SBA management agreed to these recommendations; however, one recommendation is pending resolution. We will work with SBA management to resolve this recommendation through the audit followup process.

 

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Evaluation of SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program.pdf 506Kb