Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the U.S.
Export-Import Bank's (Eximbank) compliance with the small business
set-aside provision of the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, focusing
on: (1) the quality of Eximbank small business data; (2) the amount
of export financing Eximbank made available directly to small
businesses; (3) whether Eximbank properly included indirect
financing to subcontractors in its small business set-aside
calculation; and (4) recent developments in Eximbank efforts to
assist small businesses. GAO found that: (1) Eximbank uses
estimates made by large exporters and an insurance association to
calculate the amount of assistance it provides to small businesses,
which makes its data unreliable; (2) because the law provides no
clear guidance, Eximbank includes indirect assistance to small
businesses in its calculation of its compliance with the 10-percent
set-aside provision, which was not Congress' intent; (3) when
indirect assistance was excluded, Eximbank did not meet the
10-percent requirement in 2 of the 6 years examined; and (4)
Eximbank has increased its efforts to provide greater assistance to
small businesses by establishing a group to centralize, coordinate,
and integrate its small business activities, streamlining the
approval process of some assistance applications, and changing
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