The Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2021 and 2020 granted the Small Business Administration (SBA) the authority to accept gifts of up to $4 million. Before SBA can accept a gift, the Office of General Counsel must determine there is no existing conflict of interest. In addition, SBA must put any cash gifts into a separate account. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for semiannual audits to determine the adequacy of SBA controls over the solicitation, acceptance, holding, and use of cash contributions and gifts and ensure the agency is appropriately using and accounting for such gifts. The only activity for this review period relates to cash contributions for 2020 National Small Business Week. We found SBA complied with the Consolidated Appropriations Act and SBA regulations and policies regarding soliciting and accepting cash contributions. SBA’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison obtained proper approval from the Office of General Counsel for the 2020 National Small Business Week cosponsored activity. The 10 entities that cosponsored the business week were properly vetted through SBA program offices to ensure no business relationship existed that would cause a conflict of interest. The 10 cosponsoring entities provided cash contributions totaling $360,000. Although SBA adequately complied with applicable laws and SBA regulations and policies for cash contributions for the 2020 National Small Business Week, we noted control deficiencies in the close out of the event. We made two recommendations to ensure all cosponsored activities are closed out in a timely manner in accordance with SBA standard operating procedures. The report also includes one recommendation to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the fiscal agent’s final report. SBA management agreed with our findings and recommendations. Management’s proposed actions to address the recommendations include clarifying language in the National Small Business Week cosponsorship and joinder agreements to emphasize the 90-day close out requirement. Management also assigned staff to perform monthly reconciliations to ensure the fiscal agent reporting is accurate.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Agency Reviewed / Investigated:
Submitting OIG-Specific Report Number:
Type of Report:
Inspection / Evaluation
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