Office of General Counsel | About US

About Office of General Counsel

OGC employs more than fifty attorneys at SBA’s Washington, DC Headquarters.  OGC is headed by the General Counsel and two Deputy General Counsels.  The main sections, each headed by an Associate General Counsel, are Financial Law and Lender Oversight, General Law (Labor and Employment), Litigation, and Procurement Law.  The additional offices within OGC are Field Operations, Legislation and Appropriations, Outreach and Ethics.  In addition to the attorneys located in Headquarters, OGC has over sixty field attorneys assigned to the field offices located in the various states to support programs and services provided to small businesses, lenders, and resource partners within the state.  Field Operations are headed by four Area Counsel.

Litigation. This group handles affirmative and defensive litigation in federal court, including Small Business Investment Company SBIC liquidation and litigation, as well as debt collection litigation of precedential value.  The Department also is the Agency’s legal advisor on FOIA.  It appears before the Office of Hearings and Appeals with respect to 8(a) suspensions and terminations, and suspensions and debarments involving SBA’s financial programs.  The practice areas include constitutional law, regulatory enforcement, and cases involving legal issues in environmental, employment, bankruptcy, commercial, procurement, administrative, tort, and creditor rights.

Financial Law and Lender Oversight. This group provides legal advice and assistance to program offices responsible for guaranteed business loans, disaster loans, surety bond guaranties, secondary market transactions, and small business investment companies.  This group assists the program offices in the preparation of regulations and comments on proposed legislation and provides legal review and clearance of various financial transactions involving program participants.

General Law (Labor and Employment). This group serves as legal counsel to the Agency in in labor and employment law litigation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals.  This group advises the Agency concerning employee performance and conduct issues, and participates in national and local union negotiations.

Procurement Law. This group provides legal guidance concerning federal procurement laws and regulations that pertain to small businesses. Specifically, this section advises SBA program offices regarding all aspects of the Agency's various small business Government contracting and business development programs, including the 8(a) Business Development program, the HUBZone program, the Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SDVO) small business set aside program, and the size standards program.  This group also provides legal advice and assistance to program officials regarding Agency contract and grant awards.  The attorneys in this group represent the Agency in procurement-related administrative litigation; handle protests regarding the eligibility status of HUBZone, 8(a) and SDVO small businesses; draft and interpret small business procurement regulations; and provide legal advice and guidance to Agency officials in identifying and competitively sourcing activities that are not inherently governmental.

Field Operations.  This group provides legal advice and assistance to Agency officials in the field and Washington regarding all programs administered by the Regional and District Offices.  Specifically, the group advises and reviews actions taken by SBA field offices regarding the Agency’s programs administered by the field offices, which include the 8(a) Business Development program, 504 Loan Program, and 7(a) Loan Program.  This group provides ethics advice to Regional and District Officials and also assists both the Office of Litigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office when the Agency is a party to litigation.

Legislation and Appropriations.  This group provides legal advice and guidance to all SBA offices on all aspects of legal issues concerning the budget, appropriations, legislation, Congressional procedures and activities, regulations, reports, OMB guidance and procedures, collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act, and financial and performance reporting required by the Government Performance and Results Act, as amended.  This group also coordinates responses from OGC on OMB legislative and regulatory referrals, Congressional testimony, Agency responses to Congressional inquiries, and other similar matters.

Outreach.  This group provides legal advice to field offices and headquarters on cosponsorships, gifts to the Agency, memoranda of understanding, and social media.  This group also counsels the Agency on a variety of issues including advisory committees, intellectual property, and logo use.

Ethics.  The Agency’s Ethics Program is run out of the Office of General Counsel by the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO) and the Alternate DAEO, who are appointed by the Administrator to manage, coordinate and administer the Ethics Program.  This group provides immunizing ethics advice and ethics training, oversees the financial disclosure reporting process for the Agency, and provides advice on restrictions on employees’ participation in partisan political activity.  This group also provides advice and decisions concerning the Agency’s employee conduct rules and restrictions on the granting of SBA assistance, GSA gift travel regulations, and OPM rules on the Combined Federal Campaign.