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Small Business Job Act of 2010

Original Text

Effective Dates
9/27/2010 - Present

Reform Goals
Subtitle F, a minor portion of this bill, aims to lighten the burden of regulation on small businesses by requiring that agencies respond to Small Business Administration concerns and comments for certain new regulations.

Requirements (What of whom?)
Regulatory flexibility analyses accompanying final rules will contain a federal agency’s response to any comments filed by the SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy and any changes made as a result.

Oversight for rule compliance
The SBA Office of Advocacy has oversight to see whether this rule is followed.

Reform “Teeth”
Several agencies have consistently refused to respond to Office of Advocacy comments, and there is no clear mechanism for SBA to force them to do so.

Outcomes
As of 2016, executive branch agencies have generally complied with the Jobs Act by responding to comments with a few notable hold outs. The Department of State flatly refuses to comply. The Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) identified a loophole to avoid publishing regulatory flexibility analyses altogether, despite having many rulings with large de facto impacts on small businesses. [1]

Of the independent regulatory agencies, five respond to SBA comments. [2]

Commentary
Do agency responses to SBA comments lower the regulatory compliance burden for small businesses? It is too early to tell, but strengthening the feedback loop between Office of Advocacy and regulatory agencies is generally a net positive. The Office of Advocacy programs are the only regulatory reform proven to cut compliance costs for small businesses, cumulatively saving $130 billion from 1998-2016. [1]

References

  1. See Pages 16 and 3 respectively. Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration. "Report on the Regulatory Flexibility Act, FY 2016." January 2017.  Link , PDF
  2. The Environmental Protection Agency, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Acquisition Regulation Council, Federal Communications Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission.