OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Compliance Assistance Resources and Points of
Contact Available to Small Businesses
of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President
SUMMARY: In accord with the Small Business
Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
is publishing a “list of the compliance assistance resources available
to small businesses” and a list of the points of contacts in agencies
“to act as a liaison between the agency and small business concerns”
with respect to the collection of information and the control of paperwork.
FOR FURTHER CONTACT: Mr. Keith Belton,
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Washington, D.C. 20503
(202/395-4815). Inquiries may be submitted by facsimile to 202/395-7285.
Electronic mail inquiries may be submitted to KBelton@omb.eop.gov.
A. Background. The Small Business Paperwork
Relief Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-198) requires OMB to “publish
in the Federal Register and make available on the Internet (in consultation
with the Small Business Administration) ... a list of the compliance assistance
resources available to small businesses ...” (44 U.S.C. 3504(c)(6)).
In addition, under another provision of this Act, “each agency shall,
with respect to the collection of information and the control of paperwork,
establish 1 point of contact in the agency to act as a liaison between
the agency and small business concerns ...” (44 U.S.C. 3506(i)(1)).
Working in cooperation with the Small Business and Agriculture Enforcement
Ombudsman (SBA Ombudsman) in the Small Business Administration, OMB has,
with the active assistance and support of the SBA Ombudsman, assembled
a list of the compliance assistance resources available to small businesses.
Because it may be helpful to the public to have the list of agency contacts
together with the list of compliance assistance resources, OMB is publishing
these lists together. These lists are also available today on OMB’s
web site at /omb/inforeg/infocoll.html.
The SBA Ombudsman is also making these lists available today on the SBA
Ombudsman’s web site at http://www.sba.gov/ombudsman.
of these lists is part of a more comprehensive effort to assist small
businesses. The context for this initiative begins several years ago with
enactment of the “Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness
Act of 1996” (Public Law 104-121, Title II) (SBREFA). Among other
provisions, SBREFA calls on agencies to “publish one or more guides
to assist small entities in complying” with certain regulations
(Section 212), and “to answer inquiries by small entities concerning
information on, and advice about, compliance” with regulatory statutes
(Section 213). In other words, Federal regulatory agencies are to develop
small entity compliance guides and to answer inquiries, and provide advice,
about regulatory compliance issues.
SBREFA created within the Small Business Administration the office of
the “Small Business and Agriculture Enforcement Ombudsman”
(Section 222). The SBA Ombudsman’s responsibilities involve working
“with each agency with regulatory authority over small businesses
to ensure that small business concerns [involving the agency’s implementation
and enforcement of those regulatory authorities] are provided with a means
to comment on the enforcement activity” conducted each agency. In
other words, the SBA Ombudsman is to monitor, and report annually to Congress,
on the enforcement practices of Federal regulatory agencies.
followed by the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (Public Law
107-198) (SBPRA). As described above, this law requires OMB to publish
“a list of the compliance assistance resources available to small
business.” OMB is also publishing the points of contacts in agencies
who are “to act as a liaison between the agency and small business
concerns” with respect to the collection of information and the
control of paperwork.
this statute directed the Director of OMB to convene and have a representative
chair a Task Force “to study the feasibility of streamlining requirements
with respect to small business concerns regarding collection of information
and strengthening dissemination of information” (44 U.S.C. 3520).
The Small Business Paperwork Relief Task Force has been developing recommendations
to improve and more closely link the existing assistance resources through
the use of information technology. More specifically, the Small Business
Paperwork Relief Task Force is charged with examining five ways to reduce
the information collection burden placed by government on small business
concerns. They are:
the feasibility and desirability of requiring the consolidation of information
collection requirements within and across Federal agencies and programs,
and identify ways of doing so.
2. Examine the feasibility and benefits to small businesses of having
OMB publish a list of data collections organized in a manner by which
they can more easily identify requirements with which they are expected
the savings and develop recommendations for implementing electronic submissions
of information to the Federal government with immediate feedback to the
4. Make recommendations
to improve the electronic dissemination of information collected under
a plan to develop an interactive Government-wide Internet program to identify
applicable collections and facilitate compliance.
OMB to publish a report on the first three topics by June 28, 2003. On
May 9, 2003, OMB published in the Federal Register a “Draft
Report of the Small Business Paperwork Relief Task Force” (68 Fed.
Reg. 25166, Part III). As required, this draft report discussed the first
three topics listed above. The final “Report of the Small Business
Paperwork Relief Task Force” is available on OMB’s web site
By June 28, 2004, the Small Business Paperwork Relief Task Force will
respond to Items 4 and 5 mentioned above.
SBPRA are closely related. SBREFA focuses on helping small businesses
understand how to comply with Federal regulations. SBPRA focuses on helping
small businesses understand how to comply with Federal collections of
information -- that is, filling out forms, reporting information, and
keeping certain records. These two types of requirements are related because,
as the Task Force report noted, agencies generally collect information,
or require those regulated to keep records, as part of regulatory provisions.
The information-related provisions are designed to help the agency ensure
compliance with the rule.
functional linkage between compliance with Federal regulations and with
Federal reporting and recordkeeping requirements suggests it is important
to coordinate these legislative initiatives designed to assist small businesses.
It is also the reason that the development, in particular, of the list
of compliance assistance resources available to small businesses should
be viewed in the context of the recommendations being developed by the
Small Business Paperwork Relief Task Force. The list of compliance assistance
resources describes what is now available at the Federal agencies. The
Task Force is developing recommendations, for example, on how to develop
an interactive Government-wide Internet program to identify applicable
information collections and facilitate compliance. In other words, the
Task Force is trying to develop recommendations to improve and more closely
link the existing assistance resources through the use of information
Deputy Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs