Oracle to Web-enable SBA work
- By Bryant Jordan
- Dec 19, 2000
The Small Business Administration is moving into the second phase of a five-year
technology modernization program with its purchase of Web-based financial
and human resources software applications.
The agency awarded a contract worth roughly $1.5 million to Oracle Corp.
to supply software that will enable SBA employees and customers to conduct
business via a Web browser.
That means agency accountants and personnel officials will be able to
process documents online, and customers will be able to transact business
with the agency via the Web, according to Kristine Marcy, SBA's chief operating
The enterprisewide solution will be a boon to SBA staff members, many
of whom work with labor-intensive spreadsheets.
"They're working harder and longer, and we wanted to move from that
to more analytical work that really lets us take a look at what the numbers
mean," she said. It also gives the workers some of the same capabilities
enjoyed by people doing the same work in the private sector, she said.
The modernization project is a three-phase, five-year strategic plan.
The first phase focuses on SBA's loan application and lender monitoring
systems, which supports a core SBA program — loans to small businesses.
That phase will cost up to $28 million.
The final phase will address the agency's business development and contracting
programs, including the 8(a) and small, disadvantaged business programs.
SBA officials are particularly interested in the second phase because
it directly affects the agency's internal financial operations.
"For four straight years, we were the only federal credit agency to
report on time and get a clean opinion" on agency financial statements,
She expects that the new system will help the agency continue that pattern.