Release Date: Jan. 12, 2009
Contact: Carol Chastang (202) 205-6987
Release Number: 09-01
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news
WASHINGTON – When America’s small businesses face unfair or excessive federal regulatory enforcement actions, the Office of the National Ombudsman at the U.S. Small Business Administration is available to ensure fairness in the enforcement process.
Created by Congress through the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, the Office of the National Ombudsman’s primary function is to work with small businesses and federal agencies to ensure that regulatory or compliance actions are handled and enforced fairly by all federal agencies.
The National Ombudsman is empowered to receive, substantiate, and report to Congress complaints and comments from small business owners regarding regulatory enforcement actions taken against small businesses by federal agencies.
“The National Ombudsman helps small businesses navigate the seas of federal regulatory enforcement. With a strengthening regulatory paradigm, it is essential that regulatory enforcement be effective, and not excessive,”
National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Nicholas N. Owens said. “The National Ombudsman’s focus will continue to enhance transparency for small businesses served, and strengthen the relationship between the small business community and the government.”
It is the primary mission of the Office of the National Ombudsman to assist small businesses when they experience excessive or unfair federal regulatory enforcement actions, such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, penalties, threats, retaliation or other unfair enforcement action by a federal agency.
Also, the National Ombudsman’s office works with 10 regional fairness boards whose membership is comprised of 50 small business owners from across the country. The ONO works closely with more than 35 federal regulatory agencies to resolve complaints about excessive enforcement of federal regulations brought to the attention of the National Ombudsman during hearings and roundtables held in cities nationwide.