What GAO Discovered
Businesses’ timeliness charges for issuance of Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis (SBIR) and Small Enterprise Expertise Switch (STTR) awards remained comparable from fiscal 12 months 2020 to 2021. Businesses’ timeliness efficiency for award issuance has improved for each packages total since fiscal 12 months 2016. That is the case government-wide, though protection businesses have lagged behind civilian businesses of their efficiency (see determine). View the total outcomes of GAO’s evaluation right here.
Civilian and Division of Protection Award Timeliness, Fiscal Years 2016-2021
Notice: Civilian businesses exclude the Nationwide Science Basis and Nationwide Institutes of Well being, which have totally different award notification and issuance time frames.
Authorities-wide, the packages’ taking part businesses have extra persistently met the required time frames for notifying awardees than the advisable time frames for issuing awards. The Division of Protection’s (DOD) timeliness depends on the efficiency of the Departments of the Military, Navy, and Air Drive, which collectively issued 83 p.c of all defense-related awards for fiscal 12 months 2021. DOD issued 65 p.c of its awards on time from fiscal 12 months 2016 via fiscal 12 months 2021 in contrast with 85 p.c by civilian businesses.
The Small Enterprise Administration (SBA) is required to yearly report company award timeliness knowledge to Congress together with different details about taking part businesses’ implementation of the SBIR and STTR packages. Nevertheless, SBA has been persistently late with its annual stories from FY 2016 to FY 2021—between 6 to 16 months late. With no complete, documented evaluation of its course of for growing these annual stories, it’s unclear whether or not SBA is lacking alternatives to take motion to enhance the timeliness of its required stories. Moreover, SBA is lacking alternatives to supply real-time award timeliness knowledge on its web site. Whereas SBA is just not required to take action, offering present award timeliness knowledge on its web site would provide an alternate supply of data to Congress and the general public about businesses’ efficiency in assembly award time frames and will spur additional enhancements.
Why GAO Did This Research
Businesses taking part within the SBIR and STTR packages awarded practically $3 billion to small companies in fiscal 12 months 2021. Small companies depend on well timed issuance of those awards to plan, develop, and commercialize new applied sciences. In its oversight position for the 2 packages, SBA units timeliness requirements for award notification and issuance. SBA is remitted to report yearly to Congress on total outcomes for each packages together with award timeliness.
The fiscal 12 months 2019 Nationwide Protection Authorization Act included a provision for GAO to assessment the timeliness of award notification and issuance. This report, GAO’s fourth, examines, amongst different aims, businesses’ timeliness in award notification and issuance and tendencies from fiscal 12 months 2016 via 2021, and the extent to which SBA stories on businesses’ award timeliness.
GAO analyzed SBIR and STTR award knowledge, administered a questionnaire to all 29 taking part businesses, and reviewed taking part company and SBA documentation. GAO additionally interviewed SBA officers and performed follow-up interviews with officers at different businesses as wanted to make clear data they supplied.