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Guzman announces expanded efforts to 'aggressively crack down on bad actors and prevent fraud in programs'


Tue, Apr 5th 2022 02:25 pm

Newly appointed special counsel will oversee enhanced strategies alongside dedicated leadership board, building on previous fraud control measures deployed by SBA

Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), announced an “all-hands-on-deck, multifaceted expansion of efforts to identify and support the SBA inspector general’s recovery of fraudulently obtained COVID economic relief funds and to prevent potential future theft of taxpayer dollars.”

The SBA said, “Recognizing that managing fraud risk in agency programs and operations is integral to responsible stewardship of taxpayer resources and effective service delivery to the American public, the SBA’s efforts will encompass a multipronged approach that builds upon current activities the agency has undertaken to limit fraud. The SBA’s work in the Biden-Harris administration to enhance fraud controls in pandemic programs has been recognized by federal accountability agencies and watchdogs. These new efforts will expand that work as SBA continues to undertake measures to ensure the integrity of its programs.”

Key measures being announced are:

√ The designation of Peggy Delinois Hamilton to a new role as SBA special counsel for enterprise risk to advise Guzman on fraud and risk management activities across the agency.

√ The creation of the SBA’s fraud risk management board to provide antifraud oversight and coordination.

The SBA said, “Consistent with new efforts to bring bad actors to account for their fraudulent acts, the SBA fully supports the work of the interagency COVID-19 fraud enforcement taskforce and DOJ’s chief pandemic prosecutor and director for COVID-19 fraud enforcement. The SBA believes these new initiatives can enhance the agency’s fraud risk framework and further strengthen its fraud risk mitigation efforts.”

Guzman said, “Throughout the first year of the Biden-Harris administration, the SBA has taken important steps to close the door on fraud, waste and abuse, and ensure billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded COVID relief make it into the hands of small business owners. The steps we are announcing today build on that work under the capable watch of Peggy Delinois Hamilton, as our new SBA special counsel for enterprise risk, and the newly created fraud risk management board, in coordination with the SBA’s office of inspector general and the department of justice’s chief pandemic prosecutor. Together, we will hold fraudsters accountable and shut down future pathways to fraud.”

The SBA said, “In line with the Biden-Harris administration and Administrator Guzman’s focus on aggressively rooting out scams targeting government programs, these efforts also reflect Administrator Guzman’s top priority of increasing equity across the programs and leveling the playing field for all entrepreneurs by ensuring eligible small business owners have full access to the capital and resources needed to start and grow their businesses.”

To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

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