May 2007

National Regulatory Fairness Hearing | Capitol Hill

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National Regulatory Fairness Hearing

by Craig S. Brightup
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On March 16, NRCA Director of Federal Affairs Craig Silvertooth and I testified at a National Regulatory Fairness Hearing convened by the Office of the National Ombudsman of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The hearing was held to give associations an opportunity to comment on unfair or excessive federal regulatory enforcement affecting their members and small businesses nationwide.

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, which NRCA helped pass into law, created the ombudsman's office within SBA and established 10 regional regulatory fairness boards nationwide (see "The little-known liaison," June 2003 issue, page 30). Bruce McCrory, chief operating officer and general manager of NRCA member Kiker Corp., Mobile, Ala., chairs the Region IV Small Business Regulatory Board and is an adviser to National Ombudsman Nicholas N. Owens.

Each year, a series of regulatory fairness hearings are held across the U.S. to give small-business owners an opportunity to testify against unfair practices or burdensome policies imposed on them by federal agencies, and the ombudsman often intervenes with federal agencies on behalf of small-business owners. The national hearing was designed to address broader policy issues with federal agencies.

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