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GAO: Most Participating Agencies Met Spending Requirements Under Small Business R&D Programs

The Government Accountability Office has found that most agencies met spending requirements under two small business research and development programs in fiscal year 2015.

GAO said Wednesday nine of 11 participating agencies under the Small Business Innovation Research program submitted the required report on obligations for extramural research and development work, which are conducted by non-federal personnel outside of federal facilities.

Eight of the nine agencies met the 2.9 percent minimum requirement for extramural R&D obligations spent on SBIR.

Four of five participants in the Small Business Technology Transfer program provided extramural R&D obligations data and all four achieved spending requirements.

Auditors could not determine whether the Defense Department or the Environmental Protection Agency had met requirements since they did not submit obligations data, GAO reported.

Officials from DoD, EPA and most participating agencies told GAO they faced challenges in using extramural R&D obligations data to calculate spending requirements and gauge compliance.

A group of agencies aim to propose an alternative calculation process to address difficulties, according to the report.

DoD and EPA should establish procedures to properly collect the required data, or propose to Congress an alternative way to calculate spending requirements, the congressional watchdog noted.

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