Following NCRA President Nancy Varallo’s testimony at the National Regulatory Fairness hearing before the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Office of the National Ombudsman has shared information on how small business owners can report “unfair or excessive federal regulatory compliance or enforcement.” Varallo’s testimony was specifically directed at the new HIPAA regulations on keeping personal information private, but the National Ombudsman can help small business owners with other regulatory issues as well.
The National Ombudsman: Protecting small businesses and promoting government accountability
Who is the National Ombudsman?
The Office of the National Ombudsman assists small businesses facing unfair or excessive federal regulatory compliance or enforcement issues such as repetitive audits or investigations, excessive fines, and retaliation.
As an impartial liaison, the Office of the National Ombudsman directs reported regulatory fairness matters to the appropriate federal agency for high-level fairness review and works across government to address those concerns, reduce regulatory burdens, and help small businesses succeed.
Congress established the Office of the National Ombudsman in 1996 as part of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA). The Act ensures that businesses, small government entities, and small nonprofit organizations have a means to comment if they experience unfair regulatory enforcement actions by federal agencies.
The National Ombudsman can help
- If you’re a small business or represent one, a nonprofit organization, or a small government entity (population 50,000 or less), and
- If your comment or complaint directly involves a federal agency and federal regulation
How to file a comment or complaint with the National Ombudsman’s office
Interested in filing a comment or complaint? Follow these three easy steps:
1. Visit sba.gov/ombudsman/comment
2. Complete the form as instructed. Here are a few tips:
- Describe the enforcement, inspection, or compliance taken by the federal agency and the results.
- Briefly state the specific action or outcome you are seeking.
- Provide documentation of the action taken if available, such as correspondence, citations, or notices.
3. Submit the form directly online OR download the form and submit it by email, fax, or regular mail:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: 202-481-5719
- Mail: U.S. Small Business Administration
Office of the National Ombudsman
409 3rd St, S.W.
Washington, DC 20416
Keep in mind!
This process is not a substitute for any other action you may take regarding specific federal enforcement activity, so you should continue to pursue all legal and administrative remedies you believe are in your company’s best interest.
There are two ways you can contact the Office of the National Ombudsman:
- Call: 888-734-3247 (888-REG-FAIR)
- Email: email@example.com