On March 27, the U.S. Congress passed a nearly $2 trillion bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, with near-unanimous support, to deal with the severe health and economic fallout from Covid-19. Nearly a month later, Congress passed an additional $484 billion package to replenish the CARES Act funding. Currently, Congress is negotiating another stimulus package.
Given the large sums of money at stake, there are legitimate concerns about oversight of this money.
For example, a recent GAO report identified numerous weaknesses in the Small Business Administration’s controls over the Paycheck Protection Program, which has already provided approximately $729 billion to small businesses hurt by Covid-19.
Weaknesses in agency internal controls undoubtedly increase the risks for fraud and corruption. And indeed, “[i]n less than six months, more than 50 defendants have been charged with allegedly committing fraud to obtain money from the PPP.”
To ensure the appropriate allocation of these funds, and to reduce the risks of corruption, fraud, and mismanagement, transparency and oversight are essential.
On October 21, the Coalition for Integrity and The George Washington University Law School are hosting a webinar where we will discuss recommendations on how to enhance accountability and oversight of the stimulus.
The event — Deterring Fraud, Corruption & Mismanagement in COVID Stimulus Programs — is free and open to the public (with registration), and we hope you will join us in this important discussion.
When: October 21, 2020, 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET
Moderator: Jessica Tillipman, Assistant Dean, The George Washington University Law School
Robert Westbrooks, Executive Director, Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC)
Lee Bacon, Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General
Shruti Shah, President & CEO, Coalition for Integrity
Ben Wieder, Investigative/Data Reporter, McClatchy Washington Bureau
Chris Cummings, Founder & CEO of Curiosity Media, PPP loan recipient