SBA Ombudsman Grades Agencies On Responsiveness
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit are the laggards when it comes to responsiveness to regulatory and compliance issues faced by small businesses during fiscal 2007.
The Office of the National Ombudsman at the Small Business Administration released its annual report (pdf) today rating federal agencies on how they respond to small business concerns.
Each agency received a grade from Ombudsman Nicholas Owens based on timeliness and quality of response, presence of a non-retaliation policy, degree of regulatory enforcement compliance assistance to small firms, participation in regulatory fairness hearings and how the agency informs small businesses about their rights outlined in a 1996 law, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.
In the 80-page report, federal agencies overall improved their compliance efforts, with most receiving a grade of A or B overall. The NRC and ICE both received a rating of C. No agency received a grade lower than a C.
The report also commended six agencies for their excellent work: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the departments of Transportation and Commerce. These agencies were specially recognized for their regulatory compliance assistance and willingness to work with the ombudsman's office on enforcement fairness.
By Sharon McLoone |
July 11, 2008; 5:41 PM ET
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