Congressional committees that have been demanding the information will get access to the full data with the understanding that personally identifiable and sensitive business information will be treated as confidential, according to letters sent to the House Ways and Means Committee and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and released by the SBA.
The full data will also be provided to the Government Accountability Office, the letters to the committee said. The GAO had said that the SBA wasn’t cooperating with its request for loan details.
Following a backlash from refusing to provide the names of companies that received PPP loans, the Trump administration announced June 19 that company names, addresses, demographic data and other information for loans of more than $150,000 would be disclosed in five ranges -- starting with $150,000 to $350,000, and going up to between $5 million and $10 million.
Details of smaller loans including zip code, industry, business type, and various demographic categories would be released without the company names to protect confidential or proprietary information because the loan amounts are calculated using a firm’s payroll, the agencies said.
But critics said that wasn’t not good enough because loans of less than $150,000 accounted for 86% of the total number approved as of June 20, and that detail was needed to determine whether the PPP was serving businesses that need help and how taxpayer dollars were spent. Eleven news organizations, including Bloomberg News, also sued to make details of the loan recipients public.
Lawmakers demanded the disclosure of PPP loan details after Mnuchin said at a Senate committee hearing on June 10 that the names of companies that received forgivable loans and the amounts were proprietary or confidential. The administration had previously said the details would be disclosed, and the PPP application said such data would “automatically” be released.
The loans of as much as $10 million can become grants if the proceeds are spent mostly on payroll. As of Thursday night, more than 4.7 million loans totaling $517.1 billion had been approved, according to SBA. The program ends Tuesday, when SBA will stop accepting new applications.
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