SBA on Modernization Path

WASHINGTON (07/24/2000) - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is on a path to modernizing its information technology systems, but the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) is concerned that the policies and procedures needed to support changes in IT investment, architecture and work force are not in place.

SBA has made progress in identifying IT projects that will benefit SBA's mission, according to testimony submitted by SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez and GAO for a Senate Small Business Committee hearing July 20. However, the testimony pointed out that SBA still must adopt policies that meet GAO's guidelines for IT investment management. GAO assessed SBA's IT solutions in May.

SBA is upgrading all its systems in a three-phase project, Alvarez said.

* Phase One: Update the loan monitoring and lender oversight systems.

* Phase Two: Address financial management and disaster lending.

* Phase Three: Redesign systems for government contracting, business development administration, the Small Business Investment Company program and the Office of Surety Guarantees.

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