The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing sent out the following statement on Monday:
As the Paycheck Protection Program wraps up on Tuesday and as Americans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, SABEW highlights the importance of government transparency and disclosure.
We call on the U.S. Small Business Administration and Department of the Treasury to publicly release information about every PPP loan recipient in a timely manner.
This information should include the borrower’s name, address, loan amount and lender. PPP loans come with more than $600 billion in federal guarantees, which means they are backed by the taxpayers.
We believe the taxpayers have a right to know the identity and loan amount of every PPP borrower, not only members of Congress. [Footnote #1].
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s initial refusal to release any information about individual borrowers and then to only give complete details to Congress is unacceptable because it constitutes a violation of the Freedom of Information Act [Footnotes #2, #3 and #4]. Public money is guaranteeing the PPP loans, so the public must have full disclosure.
SABEW stands behind our members (Washington Post, Bloomberg, New York Times, Dow Jones, Pro Publica) who have filed suit to defend FOIA and who are appealing agency denials of FOIA requests [Footnote #5].
Footnote #1: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/huddle/2020/06/26/washington-feels-the-heat-on-coronavirus-oversight-489653
Footnote #2: https://time.com/5857184/steven/
Footnote #3: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm1041?midqs=OClG6Q5VwqupMzRPUKBJLQ==
Footnote #4: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/trump-administration-to-release-ppp-data-by-end-of-next-week/2020/06/25/225a24e4-b740-11ea-9a1d-d3db1cbe07ce_story.html
Footnote #5: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/12/sba-foia-lawsuit/