March 12, 2014

GAO: Department of Education Is Falling Down on the Job

Ori Korin, or 202-393-1044 x126

Washington, D.C. — Following the release of a report that found that the U.S. Department of Education has failed to effectively monitor the banks it has contracted to administer federal student loans, Jobs With Justice’s Debt-Free Future Campaign Organizer Chris Hicks issued the following statement:

“This report shows just how badly the Department of Education is failing student loan borrowers. And what’s worse is that while it’s startling news, it’s not actually new news — in the Department’s own Federal Student Aid 2013 annual report, they even cited incorrect default statuses as one of their top five issues.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Department isn’t able to provide effective oversight of these contracts. Until they are, that oversight authority should be handed over to someone else, or the contracts should be cut entirely and servicing should be insourced into the federal government. There are literally hundreds of thousands of borrowers who are suffering because of the Department’s failure to do anything substantial to improve these issues. What’s their recourse? People expect their government to look out for them, not banks and debt collectors at the taxpayer’s expense.”

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