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On May 10, 2010, the Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) filed comments with the Food and Safety Inspection Services (FSIS) providing the agency with various meat and poultry processors’ concerns with the guidance document issued to industry on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) system validation.

The April-May 2010 Small Business Advocate

On May 6, 2010, posted in: SBA by admin | Comments Off

The April-May 2010 issue of The Small Business Advocate reports on Advocacy’s testimony before the Senate Small Business Committee on broadband and small business.

On May 3, 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) submitted comments to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) on SBA’s Proposed Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Program.

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing a proposed policy letter to provide guidance to Executive Departments and agencies on circumstances when work must be reserved for performance by Federal government employees. The Presidential Memorandum on Government Contracting, issued on March 4, 2009, directs OMB to clarify when governmental outsourcing of services is, and is not, appropriate, consistent with section 321 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2009. Section 321 requires OMB to (i) create a single definition for the term “inherently governmental function” that addresses any deficiencies in the existing definitions and reasonably applies to all agencies; (ii) establish criteria to be used by agencies to identify “critical” functions and positions that should only be performed by federal employees; and (iii) provide guidance to improve internal agency management of functions that are inherently governmental or critical. Submit comments to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy by June 1, 2010.

On April 19, 2010, the Financial Management Service (FMS), a bureau of the Department of Treasury, issued a press release wherein it announced a new initiative that will require most businesses to make federal tax deposits electronically through Treasury’s free Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Businesses are currently permitted to use paper federal tax deposit coupons. Businesses with $2,500 or less in quarterly tax liabilities that pay when filing their returns will be exempted from the new requirements. Treasury and FMS state that this initiative will be accomplished by changes to Treasury’s existing regulations. Therefore, be on the lookout for proposed changes to Treasury’s regulations to implement this initiative.

Status of Veteran Small Businesses: Are We Failing Our Veterans?

On April 29, 2010, posted in: SBA by admin | Comments Off

On April 29, 2010, Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy Joseph Sobota testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hearing on Status of Veteran Small Businesses: Are We Failing Our Veterans? Advocacy Findings on Veteran Business Owners.

On April 27, 2010, Acting Chief Counsel for Advocacy Susan Walthall testified
before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing on ” Connecting Main Street to the World: Federal Efforts to Expand Small Business Internet Access”.

Today Susan Walthall, Acting Chief Counsel for the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship about the importance and challenges of expanding internet access for small business. Walthall also testified about the Office of Advocacy’s upcoming study, due in the fall, evaluating broadband availability for small business.

On April 20, 2010, the Office of Advocacy (“Advocacy”) submitted a rulemaking petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking the agency to reconsider the final rule, Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELG) and Standards for the Construction and Development Point Sources Category, and issue a new standard.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed regulations to implement Executive Order 13495, the Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts, which requires that when a service contract expires and a follow-on contract is awarded for the same or similar services at the same location, contractors and subcontractors must offer the employees (other than managerial and supervisory employees) under the predecessor contract a right of first refusal of employment for positions for which they are qualified under the new contract. The E.O. provides that there shall be no employment openings under the contract until such right of first refusal has been provided to employees that have worked for 3 months and had performed suitably on the job. The E.O. exempts contracts or subcontracts under the simplified acquisition threshold of $100,000.
DOL expects that there will be virtually no change in the way most contractors currently conduct business, other than ensuring that the appropriate language appears in contracts and subcontracts. DOL also expects that 15 percent of covered contracts will incur additional costs averaging $5000 each because of the NPRM requirements. DOL specifically seeks comments on the RFA section, including the number of small entities affected by this rulemaking, the cost estimates and any alternatives that can reduce the burden on small entities while still meeting the requirements of the Executive Order. Comments are due on May 18, 2010.