Oversight is not an abstract public relations battle – it can be a matter of life and death for those struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. For every dollar lost to fraud and every day that aid is delayed, more Americans inch closer to precarity. Efficient, effective, and equitable distribution of relief funds helps ensure that all families can continue to put food on the table. If the Biden administration intends to make “build back better” more than just a campaign slogan, its oversight activity must continue on its current, productive trajectory.
A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has revealed significant oversight deficiencies in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL). This report demonstrates several of the GAO’s concerning discoveries, including incomplete loan reviews, lapses in recordkeeping, and insufficient oversight plans within the Small Business Administration (SBA). These discoveries and ongoing concerns of fraud have compelled the GAO to add the PPP and EIDL its 2021 High-Risk List, which is the agency’s watchlist for “programs and operations that are vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement or in need of transformation.”