SBA wants new mainframe to meet its needs

Will a small business be the company to provide it?

The Small Business Administration wants to put its 50-year-old mainframe systems to rest.

The agency says it is considering how to do that while also updating its technology, according to a notice posted today on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

"These mainframe-based loan-processing and accounting systems are inflexible and use obsolete technology," SBA said in its notice. "These stovepiped systems are very expensive to maintain" and do not meet the agency's business needs or comply with regulations.

SBA has started a modernization effort to improve its Loan Management and Loan Accounting systems. The agency is looking to the private sector for help by issuing a market survey to see what's available.

The agency wants its data standardized across the loan programs and a single database to store it in. It specifically wants to take advantage of Electronic Funds Transfer technology and shift to systems other agencies have found useful, according to the notice.

SBA issued the notice to gather information about small businesses capable of doing the job. However, SBA says it does not know at this stage whether it will set aside a possible contract for small businesses.

SBA relies on heavily manual, mainframe-based systems for small-business and disaster loan programs.

Matthew Weigelt writes for Federal Computer Week, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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