Yolanda Swift serves as the Deputy National Ombudsman for Regulatory Fairness Programs in the Office of the National Ombudsman (ONO) at the U. S. Small Business Administration. Ms. Swift assists...
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SBPRA 2004 Task Force Report
The Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (the Act) was enacted June 28, 2002. The goal of the Act is to reduce the burden of Federal paperwork on small businesses. The Act requires the Federal government to (1) publish an annual list of the compliance assistance resources available to small businesses, (2) establish a single point of contact within agencies to interact with small businesses, and (3) establish an interagency Task Force to study and recommend additional means of reducing the burden on small businesses.
On June 28, 2003, the SBPRA Task Force submitted their first report to Congress outlining a series of recommendations that would streamline the information submission process and reduce the paperwork burden for small businesses. It identified a number of steps to be taken to consolidate information collections, organize a list of such collections, and provide for electronic submission of forms.
This second SBPRA Task Force report builds upon the recommendations provided in the first report and reflects the impact that the first report has had upon the small business community. It identifies a series of recommendations on disseminating information and specifically identifies a solution, developed over the previous year among agencies, to identify applicable collections and facilitate compliance with Federal paperwork requirements.
First, the Task Force identifies opportunities for improved consolidation or coordination of information dissemination efforts. There are significant barriers to the establishment of a unilateral requirement or mandate for Federal agencies to coordinate information dissemination activities. However, a number of steps are recommended to encourage similar access to the broader base of Federal information. These steps include improving the organization and classification of information and establishing a partnership between agencies and the small business community.
Second, the Task Force describes an interactive Internet-based system to help small business better understand existing paperwork requirements and make it easier for businesses to comply with such requirements. The Business Gateway initiative will provide a single web point of access for relevant regulatory information on all Federal forms, and harmonize industry-specific information collection requirements.
The Task Force and their members have identified a significant number of opportunities for the Federal government to support and provide better assistance to the small business community. The recommendations in both reports, if implemented, will fulfill the objectives outlined in the Act.
To view the complete report, please see the attachment below.