SBA's Business Gateway has new leader

The Small Business Administration has named a new project manager for its fledgling Business Gateway e-government initiative and plans to relaunch the project in September.

Officials said Nancy Sternberg took over for Shivani Desai earlier this month. Desai, who had been the project manager since August, moved to SBA’s Arizona office to work with the 8(a) Business Development program.

Sternberg was the deputy director of the Business Gateway and served previously on the program’s advisory council.

SBA spokesman David Hall said when Business Gateway, one of the original 25 Quicksilver e-government projects, is reinitiated in about four months, the project will focus on letting users access compliance assistance information and electronic forms more easily.

Business Gateway has seen its share of ups and downs over the past four years. Sternberg becomes the fifth project manager since 2002 to try to get the project on track. The project has focused on reducing the burden on citizens by providing electronic forms and eliminating paperwork for small businesses, but it hasn’t made the kind of progress the Office of Management and Budget would have liked. OMB gave SBA more than $2 million from the E-Gov Fund in fiscal 2002 and 2003 to help kick-start the program, and it routinely receives the most money from agencies annually. Last year, agencies gave SBA more than $10.3 million for the project.

Sternberg came to SBA from the Agriculture Department, where she was a program manager in the CIO’s office. She worked at OMB on detail in 2001 on the federal progress report on implementing the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and participated in the Quicksilver initiative.

Desai leaves the project after almost nine months as project manager and 18 months previously as OMB’s portfolio manager for the government-to-business e-government projects, which included Business Gateway.

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