The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Proposed Withdrawal From Participation in the Small Business Innovation Research Program

Gao ID: T-RCED-88-21 March 1, 1988

GAO discussed the legality of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) proposed withdrawal from participation in the Small Business Innovation Research Program. GAO found that: (1) NRC stated that its projected extramural research and development (R&D) budget for fiscal years 1988 and 1989 was less than the required $100 million; (2) NRC had not received any R&D supplemental appropriations for the last 3 years to assist it in program participation; (3) since the Small Business Innovation Development Act neither provided for nor excluded issuance of a withdrawal procedure, the Small Business Administration (SBA) could utilize its policy directive authority to establish orderly withdrawal procedures consistent with program purposes; (4) correspondence between SBA and NRC did not constitute formal policy; (5) the Competition in Contracting Act did not mandate agency participation in the program; and (6) another agency that withdrew from the program provided funding to its awardees through the next year. GAO believes that SBA should develop a withdrawal process that would allow agencies to fulfill any existing commitments with small businesses through funding extensions.

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