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Advocacy Article

Overview of Small Business Paperwork Relief Task Force

The Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 ("SBPRA") requires a Task Force (chaired by the Office of Management and Budget and comprised of the Office of Advocacy and other federal agencies) to consider the federal paperwork burdens imposed on small business and to evaluate the feasibility of reducing those burdens. A draft of the report was published in the Federal Register on May 9, 2003. The Final Task Force report was sent to Congress June 27, 2003, along with a list of agency resources for small businesses and the point of contact at each agency for small business paperwork reduction inquiries. The Office of Management and Budget maintains an updated list of the small business compliance assistance resources and single points of contact on its website. The contacts are listed for Cabinet Agencies and Non-Cabinet Agencies.

On March 4, 2003, Advocacy held a public meeting to receive the views of small business representatives on the existing paperwork burden and the usefulness of burden relief strategies. Meeting participants commented on several aspects of paperwork relief, including establishing a single point of contact for paperwork issues within each agency, eliminating duplicative, redundant paperwork requirements, waiving penalties for first-time paperwork violations, and creating a catalogue of paperwork requirements broken down by industry. The transcript of the March 4, 2003 public meeting is available below.

Additionally, Advocacy received several public comments on paperwork burden and the feasibility of reducing paperwork. Those comments are also available below.

The Task Force met again in 2004 to consider ways to improve the electronic dissemination of information collected by the Federal government, to develop an interactive Internet-based system to help small businesses better understand and comply with reporting requirements, and to seek better coordination of Federal and State reporting requirements. On February 9, 2004, Advocacy held a second public meeting to hear the opinions of small business representatives regarding these objectives. The public comments received by Advocacy at this meeting are summarized in Appendix 4 of the Task Force's final 2004 report, which was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2004.

For full text of the transcript see attached file below.