Ombudsman FAQs

Q. What constitutes excessive enforcement action by a federal agency?

Excessive federal regulatory enforcement may include, but is not limited to, repetitive audits or investigations, punitive fines, penalties, threats, retaliation or other unfair enforcement action taken by a federal agency.

Q. How long does it take to get a response to my comment?

Our goal is to be able to secure a response from the federal agency within 30 days from the time we receive your completed comment form and substantiating documentation. Generally, you should receive a response within no more than 60 days. When comments are complex, a response may take longer.

Q. I would like to present testimony as a Regulatory Fairness Hearing, but am unable to travel to the event. Can I present without testimony to have read into the record?

Yes. If circumstances prevent you from personally attending a Regulatory Fairness Hearing, you may submit written testimony to be read into the record.

Q. I have made testimony at a Regulatory Fairness Hearing. Will my testimony be made public?

Yes. Transcripts of all appropriate Regulatory Fairness Hearing comments will be placed on the Internet at the website of the National Ombudsman archive.sba.gov/ombudsman.

Q. I do not want my identity made known to the federal agency about which I wish to comment. Is this possible?

Yes. However, you must be sure to clearly indicate on the comment form the level of confidentiality you desire.

Q. In appropriate cases can my comment or complaint be forwarded to the Inspector General of a federal agency by the Office of the National Ombudsman?

Yes. In appropriate cases comments or complaints may be forwarded to the Inspector General of a federal agency and your identity can be kept confidential.

Q. How does the Office of the National Ombudsman define small government entity?

A small government entity is generally defined as those with fewer than fifty thousand (50,000) population.

Q. Where can I get a copy of the official form to file a comment with the Office of the National Ombudsman?

There are several ways to obtain an official comment form. You may request it from the regional Regulatory Fairness Board Member in your area, the local SBA District Office, or by calling the SBA Answer Desk at 1 (800) U-ASK-SBA. The form is also available on-line by clicking on the white scroll button on this site.

Q. Is there a charge for using the services of the Office of the National Ombudsman?

No. The Office of the National Ombudsman was established by Congress and its services are provided at no fee to the public.

Leadership

National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator

Brian Castro was appointed National Ombudsman and Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Enforcement Fairness at the U.S. Small Business Administration in August 2013.

When small businesses...

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Office of Ombudsman
409 3rd Street, S.W. Suite 7125
Washington, DC 20416
United States
Fax: 202 481 5719
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Toll Free: 888-734-3247