Jenner & Block Partner Neil M. Barofsky was asked a series of questions by Senator Kamala Harris following his testimony before the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Hearing on “Oversight of COVID-19 Financial Relief Packages.”
Asked if the government should provide assistance to homeowners and renters who may be facing housing insecurity, Mr. Barofsky replied that “Congress should step in to help prevent these consequences with a robust federal response.”
Asked if Treasury should provide the American public with more information about what businesses received Paycheck Protection Program loans and who has received loan forgiveness, Mr. Barofsky responded “yes.” “The government’s implementation of PPP has made it a potential playground for borrower fraud,” that full transparency could help address, he observed.
Finally, Mr. Barofsky was asked how additional transparency about the PPP program would ensure that PPP funds are given to the small businesses it was originally intended to help. “Transparency would help identify whether money is getting to the companies that need it most,” he said. “Without transparency, key aspects of the program’s efficacy remain unknown.”
As head of Jenner & Block’s COVID-19 Response Team, Mr. Barofsky counsels clients on how to navigate the crisis and the government’s response to the global pandemic. He draws upon his time as the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, where he established and supervised the audit division that oversaw financial assistance provided to corporations after the 2008 financial crisis.
To read Mr. Barofsky’s responses, please click here.