GAO to Ex-Im Bank: Improve reporting on direct support for small firms
A congressional watchdog agency recommended that the U.S. Export-Import Bank take steps to improve the reliability of reporting on its direct support for small business.
“For most transactions, Ex-Im can identify the exporter and thus bases its determination of the small business financing share on whether the exporter qualifies as a small business,’ said a Government Accountability Office report. “For other transactions, Ex-Im cannot identify the exporter at the time it authorizes the transaction and estimates the small business share based on shipment patterns in an earlier period.”
The GAO noted that prior to recently enacted credit reform legislation, Ex-Im Bank interpreted the mandate as requiring it to make available for financing small business exports an amount equal to 10 percent of the aggregate principal amount of loans, guarantees and insurance specified by Congress for that fiscal year.
With the changes in the law, Ex-Im Bank interprets its statutory small business financing mandate as requiring it to attempt to ensure that 20 percent of the authorized value of its transaction during a year directly benefits small business, the GAO report said.