oversight

Small Business: Efforts to Improve Activities of the Service Corps of Retired Executives

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-11-20.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

Efforts to Improve
Activities of the
Service Corps of
Retired Executives


                                       I Ill
                                           142844




                           RELEASED
 RESTRICTED--Not       to be released outside the
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                   United States
GAO                General Accounting Office
                   Washington, D.C. 20548

                   Resources, Community, and
                   Economic Development Division

                   B-23667 1

                   November 20,199O

                   The Honorable Dale Bumpers
                   Chairman, Committee on Small Business
                   United States Senate

                   The Honorable John J. LaFalce
                   Chairman, Committee on Small Business
                   House of Representatives

                   The Small Business Administration (SBA) Reauthorization and Amend-
                   ment Act of 1988 required that we review the operations of the Service
                   Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).’ By charter, SCOREis a voluntary,
                   nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to provide the exper-
                   tise of its counselors in solving the problems of the small business
                   community.

                   The House of Representative’s Small Business Committee, the originator
                   of the act’s provision, agreed that we would provide general information
                   on (1) how SCOREoperates and what services it provides, and (2) a
                   number of managerial and administrative issues including SCORE’Sman-
                   agement information system, SBA’S oversight of SCORE’Schapters, the
                   chapters’ interaction with the Small Business Development Center (SBLX)
                   program,2 evaluations of counselors’ performances, and funding for cler-
                   ical support and travel.


                   For fiscal year 1989, SCOREreported that its volunteers-retired  and
Results in Brief   employed executives and managers-provided        about 194,000 coun-
                   seling sessions and gave free or inexpensive workshops to about 102,000
                   clients. Counseling may include advice on whether a client should start a
                   business or how a client should expand an ongoing business.

                   We found inconsistencies in SCORE’Smanagement and administration of
                   its chapters and in SBA’S oversight of them. Incomplete and inconsistent
                   reporting by SCORE’Schapters affect the usefulness of data from the
                   sCoRl+generated management information system (MIS). SCOREand SBA
                   officials told us that there were differences, to varying degrees, in SBA’S

                   ‘The act requiredGAO to alsoreview the Active Corpsof Executives(ACE),but sinceSCOREmerged
                   with ACEin 1982,we refer only to SCORE.
                   21Jsingpaid staff, SBLX’soffices provide business-relatedcounseling,training, and specializedsup-
                   port assistanceto the small businesscommunity.SBDC’soffices are usually operatedby collegesand
                   universities under cooperativeagreementswith SBA.



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                  B238671




                  oversight of SCORE'Schapters and SCORE'Scoordination of its chapters
                  with SBDC. Further, SCORE'Slimited surveys of its clients identified sev-
                  eral positive contributions of SCORE'Soperations and also a need for eval-
                  uations of counselors’ performances. Also, the use of federal funds for
                  clerical support varied according to whether the chapter could get such
                  support from SBA, other organizations, or volunteers; and for travel
                  expenses, according to whether volunteers requested reimbursement.
                  The inconsistencies we found can be attributed in part to inadequate
                  guidance from SBA. However, these differences may also stem from the
                  volunteer makeup of the SCOREorganization. Although SCOREheadquar-
                  ters and SBA have taken some actions to improve the management and
                  administration of chapters, better guidance from SCOREheadquarters
                  and closer coordination between SBA and SCOREheadquarters could lead
                  to further improvements.


                  SCOREbegan as a group of local voluntary   service organizations in the
SCORE’sServices   1960s. Pursuant to the Small Business Act, as amended, SCOREis spon-
                  sored by SBA and receives appropriations through SBA. SC,OREis governed
                  by a board of directors that consists of SCORErepresentatives from SBA'S
                  10 regions, the SCOREpresident, president emeritus, and immediate past
                  president.

                  During fiscal year 1989, SCOREhad 387 chapters across the nation. Its
                  members include retired and employed executives and managers. SCORE
                  estimates that its chapters have about 12,500 members, who provide
                  free counseling to clients wanting to start a business or already oper-
                  ating a business. The chapters also provide a variety of free or inexpen-
                  sive workshops to the small business community on general pre-business
                  information and on specialized topics such as mail order businesses, gov-
                  ernment contracts, accounting, and business taxes. According to SCORE'S
                  fiscal year 1989 reports, volunteers provided about 164,000 one-time
                  counseling sessions and about 30,000 follow-on counseling sessions,
                  offered about 3,000 workshops to about 102,000 clients, and gave about
                  3,400 speeches before educational civic groups. SCOREreports that its
                  volunteers donated about 721,000 hours of service.

                  Through its appropriation to SBA, the Congress provides SCOREwith
                  funds to support its activities. In fiscal year 1989, SCOREwas provided
                  $25 million-$1.5 million for travel expenses and $1 million for oper-
                  ating its headquarters and providing clerical support for individual
                  chapters. According to the executive director, SCOREhad six paid staff
                  members at its headquarters.


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                       B-236671




                       Counselors provided various responses when we asked them what they
                       considered SCORE’S   most important contribution to be. Several counselors
                       mentioned discouraging those clients whom the counselors believed
                       were unprepared to establish their own businesses from doing so. Coun-
                       selors may determine that a client is unprepared to establish his/her
                       own business if, for example, the client lacks experience, financing, or
                       managerial ability. Counselors also mentioned that they were aiding cli-
                       ents in the following ways:

                       providing counseling by experienced businesspersons with expertise in
                       the areas discussed,
                       providing assistance to clients that would otherwise have to be provided
                       by SBAstaff,
                       helping create higher quality jobs by encouraging the growth of small
                       businesses, and
                       opening up new ideas and answering clients’ questions.


Weaknessesin           the chapters to report their activities to SCORE headquarters, we identi-
Management             fied two weaknesses in the MIS-Some chapters were not submitting
Information System     monthly or annual reports as SCORE’S    standard operating manual
                       requires, and chapters were inconsistently reporting counseling sessions
                       and workshops. The data from the chapters’ reports are put into the MIS,
                       and reports from this system are used for activities such as monitoring
                       chapters’ counseling sessions and workshops; targeting chapters’
                       improvements; providing information for recruiting counselors and cli-
                       ents; allocating resources, such as publications used in counseling; and
                       enabling SBAto justify SCORE’S  funding requests to the Congress. By
                       agreement, SCOREand SBAare jointly responsible for developing and
                       reviewing the MISreports. The weaknesses we identified in the MISlimit
                       SCORE’S  and SBA’Sability to adequately monitor SCORE’S   activities.


Activity Reports Not   Some chapters have not complied with the requirement to submit
                       monthly or annual reports that are designed to record activities such as
Submitted              counseling sessions, workshops, and the maintenance of membership.
                       SCORE headquarters requires chapters to submit monthly activity reports
                       and annual reports.

                       For fiscal year 1988, annual data did not include activities performed by
                       16 percent of its chapters, according to SCORE’Sestimates. For fiscal year
                       1989,53 of the chapters, or about 14 percent, did not submit their


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                    B-236671




                    annual reports, according to data in the MIS. The SCOREexecutive director
                    said the reason for this failure to report may be that chapters do not
                    know what uses are made of the reports they submit and the fact that,
                    to date, there have been no corrective actions required for not reporting.
                    In commenting on our draft report, SCOREalso mentioned other factors
                    that contributed to reporting problems-( 1) the MIS was not reviewed or
                    field-tested by SCOREbefore SBA turned it over to SCOREfor its use, (2)
                    there were continuing problems in SBA'S initial distribution of reporting
                    forms, and (3) the design of the forms was cumbersome.

                    SCOREhas initiated action to correct its reporting problems, In September
                    1989, the SCOREpresident requested that the chairpersons of 44 chapters
                    with problems provide written corrective-action plans by December
                    1989 to their regional representatives. The executive director later told
                    us that this effort was unsuccessful because few plans were submitted.

                    Reporting problems continue: for example, as of January 1990, the MIS
                    reported that 53 of the chapters, or 14 percent, did not submit their
                    monthly report as required. In March 1990, because of the continuing
                    problem and the lack of response to the earlier effort, SCORE'Sboard
                    voted for a new approach to chapters with problems. Under a new pro-
                    cedure, any chapter that does not comply with requirements on per-
                    formance will have its charter revoked and be converted to a satellite of
                    a neighboring chapter unless its regional representative provides evi-
                    dence justifying why the action should not take place.

                    In August 1990, SCOREreported that, as of June 1990,27 of the chapters,
                    or about 7 percent, were not submitting required reports.


Inconsistent Data   Several of the 10 chapters we visited reported counseling sessions and
Furnished           workshops differently on monthly reports. Consequently, accurate com-
                    parisons of the chapters are difficult unless the person making the com-
                    parison knows exactly how each chapter reports data on its workshops
                    and counseling sessions. In August 1989, after we had briefed SCOREon
                    the results of our field visits, the executive director issued guidance to
                    help make reporting on chapters’ activities more consistent.

                    At one chapter we visited, counselors counted efforts to close a case,
                    through such means as telephone calls or letters to clients, as counseling
                    sessions even when counselors did not reach clients. At two other chap-
                    ters, we were told that case totals did not include a counselor’s efforts
                    when the client was not counseled. In August 1989, the chapters were


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J&295671




instructed not to report efforts to close a case as counseling actions if
the client was not counseled.

SCORE'Schapters also reported data on workshops differently on the
monthly activity reports, according to officials at SCORE'Sheadquarters,
regions, and chapters. Inconsistencies occurred when chapters held
multi-session workshops. For example, some chapters, including at least
two we visited, reported each session of their multi-session workshops
as a separate workshop. However, one of the chapters we visited
reported an eight-session accounting workshop as a single workshop.
Further, some other chapters multiplied the number of attendees by the
number of sessions when reporting the number of attendees at work-
shops, even though the SCOREmanual states that chapters should report
only the number of attendees who have registered for the entire work-
shop, rather than the session. Chapters were also advised that a work-
shop may be composed of multiple sessions, but it should be recorded as
one workshop on the activity reports.

Chapters also inconsistently recorded counseling hours for sessions that
involved more than one counselor, according to counseling forms we
examined and counselors, we interviewed. Some chapters multiplied the
length of the counseling session by the number of counselors, while
others did not. In August 1989, the executive director advised the chap-
ters that counseling hours are to reflect the amount of time invested by
counselors rather than the length of the clients’ counseling sessions.

On the subject of the accuracy of the MIS reports, SCOREofficials told us
that some chapters are underreporting follow-on counseling because
counselors do not submit the required paperwork. At the October 1989
national workshop, the executive director reported that his analysis of
the results of a survey of one region indicated significant underre-
porting of follow-on counseling. The SCOREpresident wants chapters to
perform more continuous counseling, especially when chapters are
unable to meet SCORE'Sgoal of one client per counselor per month. He
said that chapters that have chronically failed to meet this goal and that
are unable to improve may have their charters revoked and be merged
with other chapters.

In addition to SCORE'Sclarifying the reporting requirements for the MIS,
SBA officials said that SBA was considering several changes to the forms
used by SCORE.For example, SCOREwants the form for requesting coun-
seling revised to provide more specific information on the type of busi-
ness making the request so that chapters can assign proper counseling.


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                     B-235671




                     SBA is also working with SCOREto implement a form that merges the
                     former counseling application form with the form used to report coun-
                     seling. SBA told us that it is scheduling training in the area of reporting
                     for each of SCORE'Schapters during fiscal year 1991.


                     The oversight of SCORE'Schapters by SBA'S field offices has varied. SBA'S
SBA’s Oversight of   standard operating procedures do not contain specific standards for
Chapters             how the field office’s supervision of chapters should be performed. The
                     procedures state that SBA field staff are to review and assess the per-
                     formance of SCORE'Schapters, but do not contain quantitative require-
                     ments. Without specific requirements, SBA'S field offices have
                     approached oversight differently. For example, in one district office, SBA
                     staff told us that they performed quarterly reviews of a sample of mem-
                     bers’ counseling reports from all chapters in the service area and evalu-
                     ated the performance of chapters against specific predetermined
                     performance targets as required by SBA'S Assistant District Director. The
                     SBA staff members then provided detailed reports on chapters’ activities
                     to SBA'S regional management and to the chairs of SCORE'Schapters. An
                     SBA official at another office that was located with one of SCORE'Schap-
                     ters said that SBA staff informally monitored the reporting of activities
                     because he believed that the chapter should run its own program.

                     The frequency of SBA'S visits to the chapters in their service areas has
                     been inconsistent, according to SBA officials. In one state, the SBA Assis-
                     tant Director said that his staff tries to visit each chapter once a year.
                     However, he said that his staff was not able to make the annual visits to
                     all chapters because of limited travel funds and the size of the district
                     his staff had to cover. In another state, the staff of the SBA District
                     Director said SBA staff visit each chapter at least once every 3 months.
                     In a third state, a member of the SBA staff told us she attended the
                     monthly meetings of each chapter.

                     In commenting on relations between SCOREand SBA, SCOREsaid that it has
                     not always received full, timely feedback from SBA, but has received
                     responses from SBA by phone, visit, or memo about 95 percent of the
                     time. Further, relations with SBA'S field offices that were responsible for
                     oversight and support of the chapters varied from excellent to very
                     poor, according to the chapter members we interviewed.

                     SBA recognizes that more of its resources must be placed in the field in
                     order to improve oversight of SCORE'Sprogram. SBA said that it plans to
                     amend its procedures concerning SCOREto mandate structured reviewing


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                        E28W71




                        procedures to be carried out by SBA'S field offices. SBA said that it would
                        request additional allocations for personnel and travel to implement this
                        plan.


                        Interaction between those of SCORE'Schapters we visited and SBM=
Interaction With SBDC   varied. According to SBA'S standard operating procedures, SBA'S field
                        staff responsible for the development of businesses are expected to
                        motivate organizations supporting businesses, such as SCOREand SBX,
                        and establish a climate of trust and cooperation within the community.
                        Since SCOREand SBDC serve the same business community, close coopera-
                        tion and coordination would help to ensure the best use of the resources
                        from both organizations as well as the best service to clients needing
                        counseling.

                        Some chapters we visited had cooperative relations with SBDC'Soffices in
                        their areas. For example, two chapters we visited said they received
                        numerous referrals-an    indicator of cooperation between the two
                        groups-from    SBDC and/or provided many referrals of clients to SBDC. At
                        one chapter we visited, representatives of SCOREand SBDc attended each
                        other’s workshops and business meetings, according to an SBA official.
                        The chair of another chapter we visited said that he and two other mem-
                        bers of SCOREhad joined the boards of directors of two of SBJX'S offices
                        to promote cooperation between the chapter and SBDC,

                        Other chapters did not cooperate as well with SBDC According to SCORE
                        and SBA officials, few or no clients were referred between at least four of
                        the chapters of SCOREwe visited and SBDC'S offices in their areas. Offi-
                        cials and members of SCOREnoted that this could have been because the
                        SBlX staff were paid to provide the same kind of services that SCORE'S
                        members provide voluntarily, or that SBDCwas competing with SCOREfor
                        funding and clients.

                        Another example of differences between chapters’ operations is their
                        varying approaches to pre-business workshops. For example, SBA has
                        provided clear guidance to SBDC'S offices that they should not conduct
                        pre-business workshops if one of SCORE'Schapters is able to meet the
                        need. According to data in the MIS from fiscal year 1989 and the first 4
                        months of fiscal year 1990,67 chapters did not meet SCORE'Sgoal that
                        each chapter conduct at least two workshops per year. This could result
                        in SBDC'S coming forward to fill the need for pre-business workshops and
                        be one reason for the competition between the two groups in serving the
                        small business community. Other chapters, however, far exceeded


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                                 0285671




                                 SCORE'Sgoal, thereby reducing the need for SBM: to conduct workshops in
                                 that area. For example, one chapter we visited was offering four work-
                                 shops a month. Further, some of SCORE'Schapters, including one we vis-
                                 ited, had conducted joint conferences and/or workshops with SBDC,
                                 according to SCOREand SBA representatives.


Better Cooperation               Recognizing that relations between SCOREand SBDCcould be improved,
                                 SBA created an SBDGSCOREStudy Committee in September 1987,
Between SCOREand SBDC            according to the SBA Associate Administrator for SBDC In a report pre-
Recommendedby                    pared in 1989, the Committee concluded, in part, that
Advisory Committee
                     .           interaction between SCOREand SBIX: “leaves much to be desired,”
                     .           SBA must assume the leading role in promoting better cooperation, and
                     .           all entities must continually promote better cooperative interaction.

                                 SBA said that it would redouble its efforts to ensure that SBA, SBDC, and
                                 SCOREunderstand the importance of cooperation between these entities.
                                 SBA also plans to evaluate how well and to what extent SCORE'Schapters
                                 work with SBDC as part of SBA'S increased oversight of SCORE'S
                                 operations.


SCORE’sContributions Limited  surveys of clients by SCOREshowed SCORE'Scontributions and
                     demonstrated the need for evaluations of counselors. At the time of our
and SCORE’sNeed for f’ieIdwork, SCORE'Sstandard operating manual indicated that committees
Evaluations of       that examine counselors’ performances were optional for the chapters.
                     While some chapters periodically performed formal reviews of coun-
Counselors           selors’ performances, other chapters did not consistently evaluate the
                                 quality or benefits of the counseling their members provide. In March
                                 1990, after recognizing the need for evaluations of counselors, SCORE'S
                                 board of directors approved procedures to implement a new require-
                                 ment that all chapters evaluate counselors annually.

                                 At the board’s direction, SCOREheadquarters surveyed SCORE'Sclients to
                                 measure their satisfaction with the counseling they received from the
                                 organization’s volunteers. SCORE'Sexecutive director reviewed 102
                                 responses from 500 clients selected for one survey in particular that was
                                 administered in Region V. This review showed, among other things, that

                             l   88 percent of the clients rated the expertise of their counselors as
                                 average or better;



                                 Page 8                           GAO/WED-91-S Service Corps of Retired Executives
__----_-.   --
                     R-235671




                 . 74 percent probably or definitely would recommend SCOREto others
                   needing assistance in business;
                 l 56 percent said that the counseling had a moderate or greater effect on
                   their decisions related to business; and
                 . 66 percent received about half or more of the assistance they requested.

                     The executive director concluded that some areas of counselor-client
                     relations needed improvement, because the survey showed that

                 l 60 percent said that they were encouraged to seek additional counseling,
                   which the executive director believed was too low;
                 9 39 percent said that counselors had only some or little understanding of
                   their clients’ needs related to business;
                 l 31 percent said that they were dissatisfied with the help they received;
                   and
                 l 37 percent said that their counselors provided little or no improvement
                   in their clients’ skills and knowledge related to business.

                     The executive director said that he reached similar conclusions on the
                     basis of results of 111 responses from a less detailed survey sent to 500
                     clients in Region IV.

                     Efforts are underway to address some of the problems identified in the
                     surveys. For example, the SCOREpresident is encouraging chapters to
                     concentrate on providing follow-on counseling to clients, and, as
                     described earlier, SCORE'Sboard has approved procedures to require
                     more consistent evaluations of counselors as a means of improving the
                     quality of the counseling that SCOREprovides.

                     Also, through SBA, SCOREsought approval from the Office of Manage-
                     ment and Budget to conduct a nationwide survey of clients’ satisfaction.
                     In June 1990, the executive director told us that the Office of Manage-
                     ment and Budget had approved the survey form and that SBA was to
                     administer the survey of SCORE'Sclients. We believe that nationwide data
                     should give a broader analysis of SCORE'Soperations and possibly iden-
                     tify other areas needing attention.

                     At the conclusion of our fieldwork, SCOREwas considering changes to the
                     application form to improve the initial assignment of clients to coun-
                     selors. In August 1990, SBA told us that a new application form was
                     instituted in May 1990. Also in August 1990, SBA and SCOREsaid that a
                     national roster, which lists the skills of SCORE'Scounselors, has been
                     developed and provides information that will facilitate the matching of


                     Page 9                           GAO/RCED-L)l-5 Service Corps of Retired Executives
                       clients and SCORE'Scounselors, according to clients’ needs. A similar
                       roster for personnel with expertise in international trade is also avail-
                       able for assigning clients to counselors. SBA also reported that it was
                       working with SCOREto prepare training instruments for all volunteers.
                       These instruments will address techniques for counseling, sensitivity to
                       clients, and areas that will help SCOREimprove its services to clients.


                       The levels and impact of clerical support and travel funds provided to
Clerical Support and   individual chapters varied.
Travel Funds

Clerical Support       The chapters we visited used various means to perform their clerical
                       duties, some obtaining clerical support from more than one source. For 4
                       of the 10 chapters we visited, chapter officials told us that SCOREpaid
                       for from 3 to 20 hours of clerical support per week. According to SCORE'S
                       standard operating manual and its executive director, SCOREprovides
                       clerical support to selected chapters that are unable to obtain enough
                       funds from workshops, enough clerical support from cooperating com-
                       munity organizations, or enough help from volunteers. According to
                       chapter officials, each of the seven chapters we visited located with SBA
                       received varying levels of clerical support from this agency. Three other
                       chapters we visited were located with chambers of commerce and,
                       according to chapter officials, had arranged to use and/or pay for the
                       chamber’s support staff.

                       In regard to using SCORE'Smembers to perform clerical duties, a member
                       at one of SCORE'Schapters said that some members agreed to help with
                       administrative duties while others did not. At least two chapters we vis-
                       ited required members to assist with administrative duties. Four chap-
                       ters had volunteers (either members or nonmembers) who performed
                       administrative tasks exclusively. SCORE'Sexecutive director said many
                       chapters have had success in getting clerical assistance, and counselors,
                       from the American Association of Retired Persons. He said that other
                       chapters should use funds from their workshops to hire more clerical
                       staff.

                       Partially reflecting the varying capabilities of clerical support, the chap-
                       ters we visited had established different systems for managing records.
                       Some chapters had files that facilitated retrieval of information on pre-
                       vious clients’ applications or counseling sessions. At one chapter, an SBA



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                       E235071




                       official told us that the counseling forms were collected daily and main-
                       tained by the district office with which the chapter was located Three
                       chapters we visited were using or installing computers to maintain data
                       on the chapters’ activities. An official from SBA'S Office of Business
                       Development said SBA is considering allowing those of SCORE'Schapters
                       that are located with SBA'S field offices, to use SBA'S computers.


Travel Reimbursement   Travel funds can be used for reimbursing volunteers’ expenses to and
                       from the chapters’ offices, clients’ places of business for counseling, or
                       SCORE'Smeetings and workshops. Some of SCORE'Smembers said some
                       activities had to be curtailed because of limited travel funds. For
                       example, one of SCORE'Sboard members said that travel funds were not
                       available for meetings that bring together chairs of special projects,
                       such as international trade. A SCOREregional representative said that the
                       number of regional meetings had been reduced because travel funds
                       were limited.

                       The adequacy of travel funds, at the chapter level, is related to the
                       number of counselors who claim reimbursement for travel expenses. At
                       two chapters, officials said counselors did not claim reimbursement. At
                       the other chapters, officials estimated that the number of counselors
                       claiming reimbursement ranged from “a few” to 80 percent. Some coun-
                       selors said they did not seek reimbursement because of the amount of
                       paperwork required. We were also told that some counselors claim an
                       income tax deduction rather than claim reimbursement for travel
                       expenses. To address chapters’ needs for clerical support and travel
                       funds not met by congressional funding, SBA encourages chapters to use
                       volunteers, help from the local private sector, and fees from workshops.


                       SCORE’S   chapters can provide counseling and workshops with modest
Conclusions            financial and administrative support from SCOREheadquarters or SBA.
                       Some chapters, however, may not need large amounts of funds because
                       facilities and/or services are provided without charge by SBA or business
                       associations like the local chambers of commerce.

                       SCORE'Srecent efforts to help improve chapters’ operations, by issuing
                       reporting guidelines and revoking charters of chapters that do not
                       improve their performance, are a move in the right direction. We realize
                       that SCORE'Smembers are volunteers who provide valuable assistance to
                       SBA and the small business community; nevertheless, accurate reporting




                       Page 11                          GAO/RCED-91-5 Service Corps of Retired Executives
                      of chapters’ counseling sessions and workshops are important for
                      improving management.

                      Additional attention to monitoring SCORE'Sactivities and improving
                      reports included in the MIS would help (1) SCOREtarget its efforts to
                      improve chapters and allocate resources and (2) SBA to justify SCORE'S
                      funding requests. Finally, the interests of the small business community
                      would be better served by improved relations between SCOREand SBDC.


                       Because of the various ways in which chapters interpreted reporting
Recommendations        requirements, we recommend that the president of SCOREprovide
                      written guidance on reporting to the chapters as well as guidance for
                      implementing changes to the counseling form and the MIS now being con-
                      sidered. We recommend that the president of SCOREand the Adminis-
                      trator of SBA work together to help ensure more accurate reporting of
                       data in the MIS. We recommend also that the SBA Administrator conduct
                      joint planning meetings and promote the referral of SCORE'Sclients to
                      SBD~, to help foster cooperation between SCOREand SBDC.


                      SCOREand SBA comments were incorporated as appropriate. SBA and
Agency Comments and   SCOREsuggested that a more positive presentation be used by fully dis-
Our Evaluation        cussing SCORE'Scontributions to the small business community. We have
                      added this additional information. Further, SBA generally concurred
                      with our recommendations, but SCOREexpressed reservations about the
                      practicality of working more closely with SBA and SBEC. We believe that
                      closer cooperation can be accomplished. In fact, some of SCORE'Schapters
                      have worked effectively with SBDCby conducting joint workshops and
                      conferences. The agencies’ detailed comments and our evaluation are
                      included in appendixes II and III.


                      The scope of our review was discussed with the House Committee on
                      Small Business, the originator of the provision mandating our review.
                      We (1) interviewed SCOREand SBA officials to discuss their operations
                      and level of cooperation, (2) visited 10 of SCORE'Schapters to observe
                      their operations and discuss the level of SBA'S support, and (3) reviewed
                      SCORE'SMIS reports and SCORE'Ssupporting documentation to determine
                      the accuracy of the system. We briefed the House Committee on Small
                      Business staff on the results of our work. Details of our scope and meth-
                      odology are presented in appendix I. We performed our work between



                      Page 12                          GAO/RCED-91-S Service Corps of Retired Executivea
January 1989 and February 1990, with updates through August 1990,
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

As arranged with the Small Business Committee staff, unless you pub-
licly announce its contents, we plan no further distribution of this report
until 30 days from the date of this letter. At that time, we will send
copies to interested parties and make copies available to others upon
request. This report was prepared under the direction of John M. Ols,
Jr., Director, Housing and Community Development Issues, who can be
reached on (202) 276-5525. Other major contributors to this report are
listed in appendix IV.




J. Dexter Peach
Assistant Comptroller   General




Page 13                           GAO/&cEDsl-5   Service Corps of Retired Executives
Contents


titter                                                                                                  1

Appendix I                                                                                             16
Scopeand
Methodology
Appendix II                                                                                            18
Comments From the       GAO’s Comments                                                                 21
Service Corps of
Retired Executives
Appendix III                                                                                           24
Comments From the       GAO’s Comments                                                                 27
Small Business
Administration
Appendix IV                                                                                            28
Major Contributors to
This Report




                        Abbreviations

                        ACE       Active Corps of Executives
                        MIS       management information system
                        SEA       Small Business Administration
                        SBDC      Small Business Development Center
                        SCORE     Service Corps of Retired Executives


                        Page 14                         GAO/RCED-91-S Service Corps of Retired Executives
Page 15   GAO/RCED-91-S Service Corps of Retired Executives
Appendix I

Scopeand Methodology


             During our review, we interviewed officials at SCOREheadquarters in
             Washington, DC., and members of SCORE'Sboard of directors. We
             reviewed SCORE'Sstandard operating manual and other materials that
             describe SCORE'Spolicies and procedures. We reviewed in detail the
             monthly reports submitted by three chapters, which we later visited,
             and nearly 500 of the supporting documents. This provided an overview
             of how these local chapters were operating and how the management
             information system implemented by SCOREheadquarters was working.
             We also reviewed reports and documents provided by seven other
             chapters.

             We visited 10 of SCORE'Schapters in the District of Columbia and 7
             states-Kentucky,     Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Penn-
             sylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia-to    observe their operations. We
             selected chapters that would provide an overview of different kinds of
             operations. We visited small and large chapters ranging from 15 to 90
             members, chapters that counseled hundreds of cases each month and
             those that counseled only a dozen or so, chapters that emphasized team
             counseling and those that did not, and chapters with as many as 17 sat-
             ellite counseling locations and those with none. Our selection was not
             random and did not provide statistically projectible results. We also
             evaluated how consistently data in the MIS reflected the activities at the
             chapter level.

             We interviewed officers and counselors from SCORE'Sregions, districts,
             and/or chapters. To learn about SCORE'Scounseling, we observed coun-
             seling sessions during visits to two chapters. We interviewed clients
             from five chapters who had received counseling. These interviews were
             conducted either (1) at SCORE'Schapters in conjunction with counseling
             sessions, (2) by telephone, or (3) on visits by our staff to the clients’
             places of business. The interviews involved some clients who had had
             only one counseling session and some who had had up to 15 counseling
             sessions. These interviews helped provide information on whether cli-
             ents were benefitting from assistance provided by SCORE'Scounselors.

             We discussed relations between SBA and SCOREwith representatives from
             all levels of SCORE,from SBA headquarters, and from seven of SBA'S field
             offices. The district and branch offices we visited were responsible for
             support and oversight of 9 of the 10 chapters we visited.

             We did not select a statistically valid sample of the documentation sup-
             porting the MIS reports because (1) that would have required substantial



             Page 16                          GAO/RCED-91-6 Service Corps of Retired Executives
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




staff resources, and (2) SCOREhad initiated actions to address many of
MIS’ inconsistencies.




Page 17                         GAO/RCED-91-5 Service Corps of It&red   Ehcutivee
Comments From the Service                                                                                     of
Ftetired Executives

Note GAO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the
end of this appendix.




                                                                            August 3, 1990

                                                                            Frank V. Subalusky
                                                                            Assistant  Director
                                                                            Resources, Community, and Economic Development
                                                                            Division
                                                                            General Accounting Office
                                                                            Waehinqton, DC 20548

                                                                            Dear Mr. Subalusky:
                                                                            Enclosed are our comments with regard       to your
                                                                            draft report concerning the activities        of SCORE.
                                                                            Our effort  has been to introduce  greater balance
                                                                            into the report so that the reader will have a
                                                                            better appreciation  of the important
                                                                            accomplishments of SCOREnotwithstanding    the
                                                                            numerous criticisms  of the draft.
                                                                            Sincerely   yours,



                                                                            Harry B.JMatzen
                                                                            President
                                                                            SCOREAssociation


                             VIII.   hmn   T. Ctmey
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                                     Fu#o. No 18102
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                             PAwrPnEelDENT

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                             M,,.nd.    OR 3,620
                             L503,432.1411
                             NATIONAL        SCORE    OFFICE
                             John I! Ddel..      Exmtlva    Dimctm
                             AIM    Yelmnm.     Oensd    Co”“.el
                             ,826 CO-IN,          Avenue, N.W.. Suite 603
                             Wuhingon.      DC. 2Mw)o
                             vzO2~ 6S3-8279




                                                     Page 18                                      GAO/RCED-91-6 Service Corps of Retired Executives
                              Appendix II
                              Comment8 From the Service Cape of
                              Retired Ekecutives




                 MEMORANDUM



                 TO:                 Frank V. Subalusky, Assistant Director,    Resources
                                     Community and Economic Development         Division, GAO

                 FROM:               Harry B. Matzen, President           fl
                                     SCORE Association               MC

                 DATE:               August   7, 1990

                 SUBJECT:            Comments on Draft GAO Titled: Report to Congressional Requestors,
                                     Small Business, Activities of Service Corps of Retired Executives
                                     Need Improvement


                 We appreciate the opportunity to review the draft of the subject report,         and have a number of comments       to
                 make which we trust you will find helpful.

                 Initially, I am troubled by the title you have chosen to give the report. It was probably not intended to be
See comment 1    prejudicial, but it reflects value judgements that are not borne out by the contents of the report.    A less
                 controversial   title would be “Review of the Operations of SCORE Pursuant to the SBA Reauthorization     end
                 Amendment Act of 1988”.

                             The change in the scope of your review from an impact survey to the more extensive findings proposed
                             in consultation   with the House Small Business Committee         makes it difficult to compare SCORE
                             activities with SBDC activities, and the extent to which they overlap or compete -- one with the other.
                             The GAO report on the SBDCs was an impact study and made neither negative findings nor
See comment 2                recommendations    for corrective actions. Your report on SCORE almost ignores SCORE’s positive impact
                             on clients and its cost effectiveness.     It does point out where we need to do better in training and
                             evaluating counselors and MIS reporting.

                             The emphasis placed on SCORE chapter interaction with the Small Business Development              Centers
                             assumes policy determinations    that have never been made -- neither by SBA, the SBDC’s nor the Small
                             Business Committees.      As a maner of historical fact, the interaction that You assume to be desirable
                             has not been encouraged by SBA until recently and attempts to “divide the field” by the parties
                             themselves have been sporadic at best. That is not to say that the discussion of that subject at pages
See comment 3                S-10 of the draft report is not substantially   accurate.   We see no likelihood of improved interaction,
                             however,    until one of two events occurs.        Either SBA “divides the field” between these two
                             management      resources or the leadership of SCORE and the SBDC program act to carve out areas
                             appropriate for the operations of each, and each agrees to respect the independence of the other and
                             the right of the small business community to choose the services and the provider that the client
                             desires in any given instance.

                 3.          Although the draft report recognizes that “SCORE is a voluntary nonprofit organization whose primary
                             purpose is to provide the expertise of its counselors in solving the problems of the small business
                             community” and concludes “that SCORE members are unpaid volunteers who provide valuable assistance
                             to both SBA and the small business community”,      the draft report evinces no insight into the appropriate
See comment 4.               level of expectations   when dealing with part-time volunteers as opposed to either part-time or full-time
                             paid personnel.     For example, the summary of Your report focuses on “inconsistencies       in SCORE
                             chapter management and administration and in SBA oversight”.        It laments “incomplete and inconsistent
                             reporting”  by SCORE chapters and urges improved SBA oversight of SCORE chapters as well as
                             improved coordination of local chapters with SBDC as if this would somehow solve the problem.

                             These observations   overlook   the nature of the problem and miss the mark in casting about for
                             solutions.

                             A.       SCORE volunteers join up to do counseling and to conduct workshops.      Many of them have no
                                      patience with reports   and forms. If they are to treat paperwork requirements seriously. they
                                      must be provided with adequate clerical support to relieve them of the burden, or provided with
                                      suitable training to give them an understanding of how their own counseling and workshop




                         -



                              Page 19                                             GAO/RCED-91-S Service Corps of Retired Executives
                       Appendix II
                       Chnmente From the Service Corps of
                       Retired Executives




                              activitv will benefit from the data that is collected. We are making progress in obtaining the
See comment 5                 cooperation of our membership with SCORE and SEA reporting requirements.         For May
                              ofthis year 353 out of 381 chapters reported MIS data and for June 1990 the number of
                              chapters reporting was 354. That is a significant improvement over the total for January when
                              63 chapters failed to report. To do more requires more funds for training and for clerical
                              support. Neither SBA guidance nor closer coordination between SBA and SCORE headquarters
                              holds the key to better or more complete reporting.

                 4.   We are concerned that a report containing so many errors of omission is bound to be unbalanced and
                      to overlook the many obvious benefits to the government and to small business as a result of SCORE
                      activity.  To illustrate the point -

                      A.      Nothing in the report touches on the extraordinary cost effectiveness   of the SCORE operation.
                              The SBDC report places the cost of client service at $258 per client. SCORE’s cost of client
Set comment 6                 service, employing the same rationale, is          approximately     910 per client. And Yet our
                              impact study discloses client satisfaction with SCORE services at about the same level as client
                              satisfaction with SBDC services.

                      B.      SCORE has developed a national skills roster of all our personnel and a separate one for
                              personnel experienced in international trade. Additional funds would permit us to keep these
                              rosters current and to develop similar specialized rosters for specific purposes. We suggest
See comment 7                 that you, 11 discuss the roster system in your report: 2) prioritize and cost out areas where
                              improvements    and extensions should be made: and 31 recommend budget increases that will
                              permit SCORE to continue the development of this project.

                      C.      The report overlooks the many positive uses to which SCORE and SBA are
                              putting the MIS data we collect. That data is critical to

                                       chapter revitalization
                                       budget justification and resource allocation
See comment 8                          news and publicity articles to recruit counselors and clients
                                       workshop audience targeting and planning
                                       staffing problem resolution (snowbirds)
                                       recruiting target groups and chapters
                                       recognition reporting of chapter involvement    in speeches and
                                       information dissemination

                      D.       Although the MIS system was implemented at the start of FY1988, it had been designed by
                               an SBA contractor and turned over to SCORE piece meal throughout the year. SCORE was
                               never afforded the opportunity to review or field test the system prior to implementation.     The
                               forms did not become available until the middle of the fiscal year and there were continuous
See comment 9                  supply distribution problems until the following year. After some experience with the newly
                               designed counseling forms, 841 and 641A, SCORE found them so cumbersome                    that it
                               redesigned the forms and delivered them to SBA in March 1990. SBA adopted our changes
                               in March of 1990, but that is the sequence of events that has contributed to the under reporting
                               and errors in reporting of the past two Years.

                 5.   One matter that cannot be overlooked is that information       obtained by visits to ten chapters, all ten
                      within easy reach of Washington along the east coast out of 390 does not yield statisticallY valid results.
                      You draw the inference from your visits that the reporting of inconsistent data is a widespread problem
See comment 10        for SCORE. We believe it to be a minor problem, which would not be confirmed by a larger sample and
                      will be further corrected by additional clerical support and training as funds become available for those
                      purposes.




                       Page 20                                             GAO/RCED-91-6 Service Corps of Retired Executives
                 Append& II
                 Conunente Fkom the Service Corps of
                 Retired Executives




                 The following are GAO'S comments on SCORE'Sletter dated August 7,
                 1990,


                 1. We revised the title of our report to reflect that SCOREand SBA are
GAO’s Comments   continuing their efforts to improve SCORE'Soperations.

                 2. This report was not intended to parallel the GAO report on SBD~.~That
                 report was based on the results of nationwide questionnaires and pro-
                 vided no recommendations for improving SBDc's operations. With the
                 consent of the House Small Business Committee, the review of SCOREdid
                 not include questionnaires, but was based largely on interviews with
                 officials from SCOREand SBA headquarters and visits to 10 of SCORE'S
                 chapters. Our review was not designed to provide an impact study or
                 evaluate the cost effectiveness of SCORE.(Our scope is described in detail
                 in app. I.) Unlike the report on SBDC,this report provides recommenda-
                 tions to help improve the operations of the organization. Further, we do
                 not believe the report “almost ignores SCORE'Spositive impact on cli-
                 ents.” Rather, the report provides statistics on SCORE'Scounseling and
                 workshops as well as clients’ positive responses from SCORE’S surveys.

                 3. SCOREpoints out that SBA has recently encouraged cooperation
                 between SCOREand SBDc. Notwithstanding, we believe that both organi-
                 zations should take steps to maximize their resources in trying to pro-
                 vide assistance to the small business community. Although we recognize
                 that SCOREand SBDC are independent entities, we do not believe, as
                 SCORE'Scomments suggest, that a “divide the field” approach is the only
                 likelihood for improved interaction. We also see no reason why the two
                 groups cannot work together, when appropriate. In fact, our report sup-
                 ports joint efforts between SCOREand SBDC, such as joint conferences
                 and/or workshops as a means of meeting the needs of the small business
                 community.

                 4. As SCOREnoted, we did acknowledge that SCORE'Smembers are volun-
                 teers who provide valuable services to the small business community.
                 We also provided statistics to indicate the magnitude of SCORE'Scontribu-
                 tions. We did not, however, attempt to establish criteria for the way in
                 which volunteers’ performances should be evaluated, We did identify
                 areas where improvements could be made and, as the SCOREpresident


                 1SmallBusiness:DevelopmentCentersMeetCounselingNeedsofMostClients(GAO/RCED-Q0-38BR,
                 Nov.22, 1989).



                 Page 21                               GAO/WED-91-5 Service Corps of Retired Executives
Appendix II
Cwnmente From the Service Corps of
R&red Executives




commented, steps have been taken to address the need for more clerical
help.

5, We revised the report to include the recent improvements in chapters’
reporting. SCOREbelieves that neither SBA'S guidance nor closer coordina-
tion between SBA and SCOREheadquarters holds the key to better or more
complete reporting. We believe that increased oversight on SBA'S part
and/or closer coordination between SBA and SCOREwill promote further
improvements because in its August 10, 1990, comments on our draft
report, SBA recognizes the need to improve its oversight of SCORE'Schap-
ters, is beginning a review of field oversight, and will request additional
staff as reflected by the results of this review.

6. As explained earlier, our review did not include an analysis of SCORE'S
impact on clients and did not attempt to assess the cost effectiveness of
SCORE.We have added additional information on SCORE'Spositive contri-
butions, including speeches before civic groups and volunteers’ hours
donated on behalf of small business.

7. We revised the report to include information on SCORE'Srosters of
counselors’ skills, but it was beyond the scope of our review to prioritize
and cost out areas where improvements and extensions to the roster
system should be made or recommend budget increases that would
permit SCOREto continue this project.

8. Our draft report mentioned several of the uses of the MIS contained in
SCORE'Slisting. We have added others to our final report.

9. We revised our report to include reference to factors that SCORE
believes contributed to underreporting and errors in reporting by SCORE'S
chapters.




Page 22                              GAO/RCED-91-5 Service Corps of Retired Executives
Canmenta From the Service Carp of
Retlrcd Executives




10. As stated in our report, our review included visits to 10 chapters
that were selected, with input from SCOREheadquarters, as a limited
cross-section of SCORE'Soperations at the local level. Limited travel
funds, ,as well as concerns about whether the data we would get would
be much different from that already collected, precluded us from vis-
iting chapters in regions that officials from SCOREheadquarters identi-
fied as having more serious problems than some of those we visited. We
also did not visit other nearby chapters that officials from SCOREhead-
quarters identified as having serious reporting problems. Our draft
report clearly described our sample. We believe that the scope of our
review provided an acceptable basis for our recommendations. We have
stated that our selection of chapters did not represent a statistically
valid sample.




Page 23                             GAO/RCED-91-6 Service Corps of Retired Executives
Appendix III

CommentsFrom the Small
BusinessAdministration

Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the
end of this appendix.                            U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
                                                         WMWNC~TON.   D.C.   20416




                              AUGI 0 19%

                             Mr. John M. Ols, Jr.
                             Director,  Housing and Community
                                Development Issues
                             U. S. General Accounting Office
                             Washington, D. C. 20548
                             Dear Mr. 01s:
                             Thank you for the opportunity      to comment on the draft
                             report, "Small Business:     Activities   of Service Corps of
                             Retired Executives  Need Improvement."
                             We have discussed the draft report with the SCORE
                             Association  and find that we have simular concerns and
                             recommendations regarding the report.    The Association's
                             comments will be forwarded directly   to you under separate
                             cover.
                             First,   we hope that the General Accounting Office will
                             recognize that SCORE!is a volunteer           organization      and that
                             the tone of any report is very important              in gaining the
                             support of a volunteer      organization      to improve their
                             operations.     The title   selected for the report could be
See comment 1                used for any report generated on any program, since there
                             is always room for improvement.           We are, however, very
                             concerned that a report that is written             in a negative tone
                             will undermine the improvement program that the SCORE
                             Association    and SBA has undertaken.          We therefore     request
                             that consideration      be given to making the report more
                             positive    in tone while still     retaining     the areas in which
                             improvement is being recommended.
                             There are five areas of focus in the draft report and we
                             submit the following comments on those five areas:
                             1.    ~NAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMWEAKNESSES
                                   The report addresses the lack of reporting    by the
                                   individual chapters of SCORE, citing    14% not reporting
                                   in 1989 and further   states that action was being taken
                                   to improve the reporting    statistic.
                                   The report states that SCOREadvised that approximately
                                   15% did not report in 1988. In 1909 this percentage
See comment 2                      was 14% and we are happy to advise you that in Way,
                                   1990, the reporting  had increased to 93%.
                                   It should also be pointed out that nonreporting
                                   understates    the services actually    being performed by
                   Y               SCORE and so when one states the value of SCOREin
                                   relation    to the taxpayers'    funds being expended, it is
                                   a conservative    figure.     We do not believe that this
                                   comes out in the draft report.



                                  Page 24                                GAO/RCED-91-6 Service Corps of Retired Executives
                                                                                                      -
                Appendix ID
                Comments From the Small
                Business Administration




                As   program managers, one would question           how much
See comment 3   follow-up   and expenditure  of taxpayers'          money should    be
                spent to obtain reports from volunteers             so that an
                increase in figures    could be reported.
                The improved forms, referred     to in your draft report
                 (pages 8 8 9) are nearing completion      and have been
See comment 4   -approved by SCORE. We believe that this will assist in
                 improving the consistency   in reporting.     Also, SBA is
                 scheduling  training  in the area of reporting     to be
                 conducted in each SCOREchapter during fiscal         year
                 1991.
                2.   BBA OVEgSIGHT OF CHAPTERS
                The draft report cites the lack of uniform oversight               of
                SCORE chapters as a problem.        We recognize       that greater
                resources must be placed in the field            in order to
                improve Oversight      of the SCOREprogram.          We are
                beginning   a review of this part of the delivery            system,
                including   a model work measurement plan.            We will be
See comment 5   amending the Standard Operating Procedures covering
                this program and mandating structured            review procedures
                to be carried     out by the field     offices.      However,
                increased monitoring      of the program, greater oversight
                of chapter operations       will require     increased SBA
                personnel allocations       as well as increased travel
                funds.    We will    be requesting   the needed support
                reflected   by the work measurement plan being developed.
                3.   -N              WITH SBDCS
                As pointed out in the draft report,               the extent of
                interaction      between SCOREand SBDCs depend on-local
                conditions.       At the national      level,      SBA has encouraged
                the two resources to coordinate             activities       wherever
                possible.      We have held "summit*1 meetings to encourage
                cross-talk     that hopefully     will    lead to improved
                relations    at the field level.          Simular meetings are
                being held at the regional         and district         levels.
See comment 6   Current Standard Operating Procedures covering the SBDC
                and SCOREprograms mandate cooperative                  efforts    and
                nonduplication       of efforts.      This is also reinforced          in
                the documents signed between the Agency and the various
                resources.       The Assistant    District       Directors,     at the
                local level and the Assistant            Regional Administrators
                for Business Development at the regional                  level are
                charged with this responsibility.




                Page 26                                GAO/RCED-91-5 Service Corps of Retired Executives
                      Appendix III
                      Comments Prom the Small
                      Business Administration




                            We will    redouble our efforts     to insure   that all
                            resources     and our field personnel understand that only
                            through cooperative       efforts  will the small business
                            client    and the taxpayer receive an acceptable level of
                            service and return on its investment in these
                            programs.      We will also include in the increased
                            oversight    program,   an evaluation     of how well and to
                            what extent SCOREchapters are working with other
                            resources.


                            Several improvements            have occurred in the area of
                            counselor evaluation            since the review of the program.
                            The new applicatian         form referred    to on pages 12 and 13
                            of the draft report was instituted             in May 1990. The
See comment 7               National     SCOREAssociation       is working with SRA in
                            preparing      training   instruments     for all volunteers   that
                            will    address techniques       of counseling,    sensitivity   to
                            clients    and    areas that Will aS!dSt SCORE to improve          the
                            the services to its clients.
                            The national  roster of SCOREvolunteers      is now
                            operational  and providing   counselor information               that
                            permits improved counselor/client     matches.
                            5.     5                                      G
                            The extent of support given to SCOREfor its operations
                            is in direct   proportion     to the Congressional funding of
See comment 8.              the program.     The Agency has encouraged the use of
                            clerical  volunteers,     local private  sector support, and
                            training  fees that would be used to help support the
                            local chapter.
                            Due to the level            of funding, it is impossible      to have
                            clerical  support           in every chapter.
                            Travel funds are also limited     based on the overall
                            appropriations.    Currently,   SEA allocates    approximately
                            60% of the total budget for travel       reimbursement and
                            approximately   18% to clerical   support.
                     In closing,  I want to again thank you for the opportunity
                     to comment on the draft report and hope the above
                     observations  will assist you.
                     S      erely,

                           +-L22
                     Jo    n R. Cox
                     A sociate          Administrator
                 4




                         Page 26                                   GAO/RCED-91-6 Service Corps of Retired Jiixecutives
                 Appendix III
                 Commenta From the Small
                 Business Administration




                 The following are GAO'S comments on SBA'S letter dated August 10, 1990.


                 1. We believe that our draft report was balanced. Our report discussed
GAO’s Comments   what we found during a limited review that included visits to 10 of
                 SCORE'Schapters. We recognize the voluntary nature of the program. We
                 also provide information on SCORE'Sservices and improvements in the
                 areas we reviewed. Our recommendations are intended to strengthen
                 SCORE'Simprovement program. Also, we revised the title of our report to
                 reflect that SCOREand SBA are continuing their efforts to improve SCORE'S
                 operations.

                 2, We revised the report to include the recent improvement in the
                 reporting of chapters’ activities. Neither our draft report nor our final
                 report draws any conclusion about the value of SCORE'Scontributions rel-
                 ative to funds appropriated by the Congress.

                 3. SBA questioned how much follow-up and tax money should be spent to
                 increase SCORE'Sreporting. However, they also are taking steps to study
                 ways to improve SBA'S field oversight of SCOREthat will probably mean
                 the need for additional staff. We believe that problems associated with
                 chapters’ reporting would diminish if increased oversight is
                 implemented.

                 4. We revised the report to include SBA'S training efforts for fiscal year
                 1991.

                 5. We revised the report to include SBA'S plans to provide increased over-
                 sight of SCORE.

                 6. We revised the report to include SBA'S plans to devote more attention
                 to cooperation between SCOREand SBDC.

                 7. We revised the report to include the new application form, training
                 instruments, and the rosters of SCORE'Svolunteers.

                 8. We revised the report to include SBA'S comments on funding clerical
                 support and travel.




                 Page 27                           GAO/RCEDBl-6 Service Corps of Retired Executives
Appendix IV

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Frank V. Subalusky, Assistant Director
Resources,              Charles B. Hessler, Evaluator-in-Charge
Community, and          James R. Sweetman, Jr., Staff Evaluator
Economic
Development Division,
Washington, D.C.




(077074)                Page 28                         GAO/RCED-91-6 Service Corps of Retired Executives
h
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