Lapses in year-2000 preparations by the Small Business Administration could jeopardize its capacity to guarantee and originate loans next year, according to a General Accounting Office report.

The congressional agency said the SBA claimed to have renovated and tested 42 "critical" computer systems as of June. The SBA also said it had reached agreements with 38 of the 58 outside parties with whom it exchanges data, including one responsible for 90% of all such exchanges. The SBA's total year-2000 expenditures between 1996 and 2000 are expected to reach $10.6 million.

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