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Business Regulation and Consumer Protection (71 - 80 of 1,302 items)
Small Business Administration: Actions Needed to Ensure Planned Improvements Address Key Requirements of the Development Company (504) Loan Program
GAO-14-233: Published: Mar 6, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 7, 2014.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established lending standards to protect against default and has measured program performance, but lacks guidance on determining the number of jobs supported by 504 program-funded projects. SBA's guidance for certified development companies (CDC)—nonprofits that provide funding to small businesses to promote local economic development in their communit...
Veterans' Health Care: Oversight of Tissue Product Safety
GAO-14-463T: Published: Apr 2, 2014. Publicly Released: Apr 2, 2014.
Data from the Veteran's Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), do not show evidence of VHA receiving contaminated tissue products, although, it is difficult to link adverse events in recipients to such products. VA's National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS), which began operation in 1999, has not issued any patient safety alerts—mandates for action to addre...
Spectrum Management: FCC's Use and Enforcement of Buildout Requirements
GAO-14-236: Published: Feb 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2014.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established buildout requirements—which require a licensee to build the necessary infrastructure and put the assigned spectrum to use within a set amount of time—for most wireless services, including cellular and personal communication services. FCC tailors the buildout requirements it sets for a wireless service based on the physical characteris...
Telecommunications: Federal Broadband Deployment Programs and Small Business
GAO-14-203: Published: Feb 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2014.
Federally funded programs to expand broadband access encompass but do not specifically target small businesses. These programs—the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program, Community Connect Grants, Connect America Fund, Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program, and Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program—have eligibility requiremen...
Credit Cards: Marketing to College Students Appears to Have Declined
GAO-14-225: Published: Feb 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2014.
Trends associated with college affinity card agreements include fewer agreements and cardholders and declining payments, according to data GAO analyzed from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB). The number of affinity card agreements declined from 1,045 in 2009 to 617 in 2012 (41 percent). More than 70 percent...
Strategic Sourcing: Selected Agencies Should Develop Performance Measures on Inclusion of Small Businesses and OMB Should Improve Monitoring
GAO-14-126: Published: Jan 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 24, 2014.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the General Services Administration (GSA), and selected agencies have taken steps to consider small businesses, including small disadvantaged businesses, in their strategic sourcing efforts. (Small disadvantaged businesses are those unconditionally owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.) OMB and GSA have developed gui...
College Debit Cards: Actions Needed to Address ATM Access, Student Choice, and Transparency
GAO-14-91: Published: Feb 13, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2014.
At least 852 schools, or 11 percent of U.S. colleges and universities, had agreements to provide debit or prepaid card services to their students as of July 2013, and most offered students the ability to receive federal student aid and other payments on a card. These schools were disproportionately large; their enrollments constituted about 40 percent of all postsecondary students. However, the pe...
Commercial Space Launches: FAA's Risk Assessment Process Is Not Yet Updated
GAO-14-328T: Published: Feb 4, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 2014.
According to studies, the United States in 2012 provided less commercial space launch indemnification for third party losses than China, France, and Russia. These countries put no limit on the amount of government indemnification coverage which in the U.S. is limited by the Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA). Governments' commitments to pay have never been tested because there has not been a third...
Private Health Insurance: The Range of Base Premiums for Individuals Age 19 and 64 in the Individual Market by State in January 2013
GAO-14-263R: Published: Jan 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 2014.
GAO reported the range of base premiums prior to underwriting for individual market health insurance plans as displayed on the HealthCare.gov Plan Finder in January 2013. The base premiums were for individuals aged 19 and 64 in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The base premiums reflected information from data submitted by insurers to the Center for Consumer Information and Insur...
Homeowners Insurance: Multiple Challenges Make Expanding Private Coverage Difficult
GAO-14-179: Published: Jan 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 2014.
Homeowners insurance policies typically protect homes, garages and other structures, and personal belongings from damage caused by perils such as fire, hail, lightning, explosion, and theft, among others. The insurance industry considers these perils insurable because they are accidental, predictable, and do not involve catastrophic losses. These policies also typically exclude losses from a numbe...