What GAO Discovered
Companies’ timeliness charges for issuance of Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis (SBIR) and Small Enterprise Know-how Switch (STTR) awards remained related from fiscal 12 months 2020 to 2021. Companies’ 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 complete outcomes of GAO’s evaluation right here.
Civilian and Division of Protection Award Timeliness, Fiscal Years 2016-2021
Be aware: Civilian businesses exclude the Nationwide Science Basis and Nationwide Institutes of Well being, which have completely different award notification and issuance time frames.
Authorities-wide, the packages’ collaborating businesses have extra persistently met the required time frames for notifying awardees than the really useful 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 Power, 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 by 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 collaborating businesses’ implementation of the SBIR and STTR packages. Nonetheless, SBA has been persistently late with its annual reviews from FY 2016 to FY 2021—between 6 to 16 months late. And not using a complete, documented evaluation of its course of for creating these annual reviews, it’s unclear whether or not SBA is lacking alternatives to take motion to enhance the timeliness of its required reviews. Moreover, SBA is lacking alternatives to supply real-time award timeliness knowledge on its web site. Whereas SBA just isn’t required to take action, offering present award timeliness knowledge on its web site would provide an alternate supply of knowledge to Congress and the general public about businesses’ efficiency in assembly award time frames and will spur additional enhancements.
Why GAO Did This Examine
Companies collaborating 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 function 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 evaluation the timeliness of award notification and issuance. This report, GAO’s fourth, examines, amongst different aims, businesses’ timeliness in award notification and issuance and traits from fiscal 12 months 2016 by 2021, and the extent to which SBA reviews on businesses’ award timeliness.
GAO analyzed SBIR and STTR award knowledge, administered a questionnaire to all 29 collaborating businesses, and reviewed collaborating company and SBA documentation. GAO additionally interviewed SBA officers and performed follow-up interviews with officers at different businesses as wanted to make clear info they offered.