SBA on modernization path

The Small Business Administration is on a path to modernizing its information

technology systems, but the General Accounting Office 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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