Stewardship: spending programs need to be better monitored | News, Sports, Jobs
For small businesses and organizations across the country, emergency loan programs put in place by the federal government at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic were a godsend. Loans such as those from the US Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program were made at low interest rates – and could be fully forgivable under certain criteria. Certainly, these loans have kept afloat some small employers who would otherwise have been forced to go out of business.
But the Government Accountability Office – those charged with ensuring that the federal government is a good steward of taxpayer dollars – says the programs are problematic and sensitive. “Inappropriate payments and potential fraud”.
“There is no doubt that they have had a positive impact. However, the management of these programs must be considerably improved ”, Comptroller General of the United States, Gene L. Dodaro. In fact, in January, GAO said it was still seeing delays in getting the information it should have on loans, including detailed monitoring plans and documents for estimating inappropriate payments.
PPP loans aren’t the only item on GAO’s list of high-risk programs this year, however. Federal efforts to prevent drug addiction are there too. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually noted a particular acceleration in drug overdose deaths as widespread mitigation measures were put in place.
Bureaucrats and members of Congress have a responsibility to do good for the American people not only by providing the services we pay for, but also to earn our confidence that they will not spend our money badly. The programs put in place last year, in an unprecedented challenge for our nation, may have been launched with the best of intentions, but they appear to have been put together with negligence and with few standards or standards. expectations in place. Now it’s up to a new generation of elected and appointed officials (but some of the same bureaucrats) to clean up the mess.