June 17 (UPI) -- House Democrats on Wednesday accused the Small Business Administration of illegally withholding information regarding its handling of the sweeping coronavirus economic relief program.
A group of five Democratic committee and subcommittee chairs sent a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, calling for the agency to immediately comply with requests from the Government Accountability Office for interviews, documents and data related to its oversight of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
"To date, SBA has not granted GAO access to all requested SBA officials for interviews and, according to GAO, SBA officials ho have been interviewed have not been fully cooperative in providing timely, fulsome and transparent responses to interview questions," the lawmakers wrote.
The CARES Act tasks GAO with overseeing the more than $2 trillion appropriated by Congress for financial assistance to individuals, business loans, support for medical providers, and economic relief for businesses and industries.
The letter cites issues in the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program that allowed large companies to obtain loans intended for small businesses.
"Refusing to provide basic data to GAO about PPP loans appears to be an attempt to avoid such oversight and accountability," the letter stated.
Lawmakers requested that the SBA provide GAO with all data, documents, interviews and other information requested by June 29.