October 4, 2022
SBA Hot Topic Tuesday – OIG Says SBA Betters its Customer Service Monitoring
“In December 2018, the Office of Inspector General completed an audit of SBA’s District Offices’ Customer Service (Report 19-06) in response to a Congressional request regarding the effectiveness of SBA’s district offices. We reported SBA did not have an effective process in place to assess customer service. We also found the system the agency used to track employee customer service activities did not have sufficient controls to preserve data integrity,” reads an SBA OIG report released on the last day of fiscal year 2022.
This report reviewed the corrective actions the SBA took to improve the monitoring of district offices’ customer service activities. Previously, the OIG gave the SBA four recommendations according to their finding from the initial report. The SBA has adequately addressed three of the four recommendations.
Recommendation 1: Revise the SOP 90 75 4, Outreach Activities, to give customers an opportunity to provide feedback using a survey.
• The OIG found that half of the district offices they reviewed did seldomly or did not collect customer feedback.
• Staff from seven of the ten district offices sampled were unaware of or did not have access to the Customer Service Experience survey system.
The OIG recommends fully establishing a process to collect and analyze customer feedback.
Recommendation 2: Record customer activities in a timely manner and establish a requirement for documenting and maintaining support for the customer service activities reported.
• Management established goal activity sheets that have a requirement for recording customer service activities in the system timely.
• Management established a requirement to record customer service entries within seven business days or two days after returning to the office.
Recommendation 3: Implement controls for hierarchical reviews and approvals for district directors’ entries.
• A new tracking tool system has controls in place that ensure only those with approval authority can approve customer service activities that were recorded in the system. Over 99% of customer service activities reviewed were appropriately approved.
Recommendation 4: Implement a plan and establish a timeframe to improve the functionality of the Activity Contact Report system or replace the system.
• Management replaced the system with the Goals and Measures Activity Tracking Tool system. They also provided system users with guides that can filter outreach events across the country, and the system can be used to strategize outreach events.