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The Small Business Administration is seeking comments on the information it collects for the Paycheck Protection Program and if there are ways to enhance the quality of the data collected.

SBA states in its Tuesday Federal Register notice that to make financial assistance available as expeditiously as possible after the PPP was authorized, SBA obtained emergency approval of the information collection necessary to implement the program.

Federal agencies that want to collect information — requiring borrowers to fill out forms, for example — are required to seek public comments first. The emergency approval of the PPP included a waiver of that 60-day comment period.

That approval will expire on Oct. 30. SBA plans to ask the Office of Management and Budget to extend that date. Such a extension would enable the agency to remain in compliance with the paperwork reduction act (PRA) as it continues to collect information from PPP participants, it says.

Leon LaBrecque, chief growth officer at Sequoia Financial Group in Troy, Michigan, told ThinkAdvisor the agency was likely playing “catch-up” on the notice-filing requirement.

Veena Murthy, a principal at Crowe LLP in Washington, told ThinkAdvisor in a Tuesday email message that while such requests are required under the Paperwork Reduction Act, “Maybe this [SBA request] is being done separately because they have had a haphazard method of publishing interim final rules. I will make a guess that this is good news in that it means they believe the forms and documents they describe are more or less finalized — given they have waited this long for this” request for comment.

SBA is requesting comments by Sept. 14 on whether:

  • The collection of information is necessary for the agency to properly perform its functions;
  • The burden estimates are accurate;
  • There are ways to minimize the burden, including through the use of automated techniques or other forms of information technology; and
  • There are ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information.

LaBrecque told ThinkAdvisor in a Tuesday morning email message that “It would seem intuitive to just forgive all small loans (e.g. under $350K).”

— Check out PPP Data Errors Abound, Raise Questions About Stimulus’ Impact on ThinkAdvisor.