Throughout the ongoing legal battle with national-news organizations, the SBA has pushed for withholding certain PPP loan borrower information. The SBA claimed the information withheld was because of clauses under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which designated that information as private, and that its release would violate borrowers’ personal privacy.
The Court, however, has now ruled the names, addresses, and amounts did not meet the exemption requirements of the FOIA.
“The significant public interest in shedding light on SBA’s administration of the PPP and EIDL program dramatically outweighs any limited private interest in nondisclosure,” stated the memorandum opinion by US District Judge James Boasberg.
The SBA is now under court order to release the names, addresses, and precise loan amounts of all individuals and entities that obtained PPP and EIDL COVID-related loans. This information must be released by the SBA by November 19, 2020.
by Holly Ferguson, CPA