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Digital Modernization

Senator Questions SBA’s AI Usage, IT Fund Management

Agency transparency

Senator Questions SBA’s AI Usage, IT Fund Management

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, has requested information on the Small Business Administration’s IT investments and undisclosed artificial intelligence applications.

Particularly, Ernst asked for details on how the SBA manages its IT Working Capital Fund, which she claims has been misused, and questioned the agency’s transparency regarding its AI initiatives, FedScoop reported.

Ernst, a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, cited discrepancies between public statements and the agency’s AI use case inventory, which currently shows no AI uses despite claims of AI application in fraud review and pandemic relief efforts.

Additionally, Ernst requested information on the SBA’s plans to use its IT Working Capital Fund to improve its Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act score. She noted the SBA’s declining performance in IT management, with the agency not exceeding a “C” grade in the past three years.

The SBA confirmed receipt of Ernst’s letter but did not respond.