DC Circuit Judge Orders Release Of Data On Emergency Loans For Small Businesses

  • A consortium of news organizations, including ProPublica, has won a legal fight against the Small Business Administration. It will now have to publicly release the names of borrowers who got government pandemic loans.
  • After a prolonged legal fight over the transparency of one of the federal government’s largest coronavirus relief programs, a judge in Washington required the disclosure of data on thousands of smaller business loan recipients. “The significant public interest in shedding light on SBA’s administration of the PPP and EIDL program dramatically outweighs any limited private interest in nondisclosure,” Judge Boasberg wrote.
  • On Thursday, District of Columbia Circuit Judge James Boasberg rejected that contention, noting that borrowers had been informed via the loan application that such data could be revealed as a result of a FOIA lawsuit. The program is at significant risk of fraud, he added — in September, the Justice Department charged 57 people with violating the rules — and would therefore benefit from additional scrutiny.

See full story here.

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