On August 15, 2017, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released a request for information (“RFI”) seeking input from the public as to which SBA regulations should be repealed, replaced, or modified because they are obsolete, unnecessary, ineffective, or burdensome. The RFI is prompted by various Executive Orders seeking to reduce the number and costs of federal regulations, including Executive Order 13771, signed by President Trump on January 30, 2017, requiring agencies to identify two existing regulations that the agency may cancel for every new regulation it proposes to implement, and Executive Order 13777, in which President Trump ordered agencies to evaluate existing regulations to determine ones to be repealed, replaced, or modified.
Through the RFI, SBA seeks comments from the public as to SBA regulations that parties “believe impose unnecessary burdens or costs that exceed their benefits, eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation, or are ineffective or outdated.” To guide such public input, the RFI includes the following list of questions for commenters:
- Are there SBA regulations that have become unnecessary or ineffective and, if so, what are they?
- Are there SBA regulations that can be repealed without impairing SBA’s regulatory programs and, if so, what are they?
- Are there SBA regulations that have become outdated and, if so, how can they be modernized to better accomplish their regulatory objectives?
- Are there SBA regulations that are still necessary, but which have not operated as well as expected such that a modified approach is justified, and what is that approach?
- Are there SBA regulations or regulatory processes that are unnecessarily complicated or could be streamlined to achieve regulatory objectives more efficiently?
- Are there any technological developments that can be leveraged to modify, streamline, or repeal any existing SBA regulatory requirements?
- Are there any SBA regulations that are not tailored to impose the least burden on the public?
- How can SBA best obtain and consider accurate, objective data about the costs, burdens, and benefits of existing SBA regulations?
- Are there any specific suggestions of ways SBA can better achieve its regulatory objectives?
In submitting comments, and responding to these questions, SBA asks the public to keep the following in mind: “One of SBA’s primary objectives in carrying out these efforts is to continue to promote economic growth, innovation, and job creation in the small business sector, and to ensure that disaster survivors have the clear policy and procedural guidance they need to quickly obtain financial assistance to rebuild their lives.”
We would like to hear your views and we encourage all interested parties to submit comments. Comments are due to SBA by October 16, 2017. If you would like our assistance preparing comments, or if you would like to share your views, please contact John Shoraka, Megan Connor, or Katie Flood at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the recent small business subcontracting plan changes were implemented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) in its final rule at 78 Fed. Reg. 42391, dated July 16, 2013, many of our clients have asked us how the SBA’s new rules should be interpreted in light of the existing FAR small business subcontracting requirements. We believe that the FAR Councils are taking the right steps to harmonize the SBA’s requirements with the obligations the FAR imposes. However, we believe that there are several aspects of the proposed rule that could be amended to provide greater clarity and less burdensome outcomes for contractors administering subcontracting plans, particularly contractors that maintain commercial plans.
On May 28, 2015, the Defense Department, General Services Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s proposed rule to implement Executive Order 13673 “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” (EO), dated July 31, 2014. Together with the proposed Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the Department of Labor (DOL) published proposed guidance (collectively, “Proposed Rules”), defining many terms set forth in the EO and beginning to establish a framework of expectations. PilieroMazza addressed the requirements of the EO and identified prospective concerns in its Legal Advisor article "The Impact of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order on Contract Procurement." While some of questions about the EO and its implementation have been answered in the Proposed FAR and DOL regulations, many of the concerns still remain. The deadline to submit comments has been extended to August 11, 2015.
We are writing to submit comments on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) above-referenced proposed rule, issued May 1, 2015, 80 Fed. Reg. 24,846. Our firm represents small businesses, including women-owned and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (“WOSBs/EDWOSBs”), operating across the government contracting spectrum. Many of the WOSBs/EDWOSBs we represent and have talked to have been eagerly anticipating this rulemaking. The proposed rule places the SBA’s WOSB Program on equal footing with other SBA government contracting programs in providing for award of sole source contracts to WOSBs/EDWOSBs.
On February 5, 2015, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a proposed rule to amend its regulations to implement provisions of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, 80 Fed. Reg. 6618. Based on authorities provided in these two statutes, the proposed rule would establish a Government-wide mentor-protégé program for all small business concerns, amend current joint venture provisions and make additional changes to current size, 8(a) Office of Hearings and Appeals or HUBZone regulations, among other proposed changes. This memorandum provides our analysis of the proposed rules.