Magazine article The Small Business Advocate

Executive Order 13272's Profound Effect on Advocacy and the RFA

Magazine article The Small Business Advocate

Executive Order 13272's Profound Effect on Advocacy and the RFA

Article excerpt

On August 13, 2002, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13272, "Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking." This executive order (E.O.) has had a profound effect on the Office of Advocacy and has strengthened the voice of small business in the regulatory process. Owing to its value, the E.O. remains in effect today.

One of Advocacy's principle activities is overseeing federal agency compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), which requires federal agencies to assess the impact of their regulations on small entities and consider less costly alternatives. Prior to E.O. 13272, agency compliance with the RFA was uneven at best, and federal agencies routinely issued "boilerplate" RFA certifications asserting-without any factual basis-that their regulations would have no significant impact on small businesses.

E.O. 13272 changed this. For starters, the E.O. required all executive branch agencies to consult with Advocacy to develop policies and procedures for complying with the RFA and to post these on their on their websites. This enhanced the prominence of the RFA and strengthened Advocacy's relationship with federal policymakers-particularly with respect to the agencies' analysis of how their regulations affect small entities. E.O.13272 requires agencies to specifically notify Advocacy of their draft rules that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, either at the time their draft rules are submitted to the White House for review, or at a reasonable time prior to their publication in the Federal Register. …

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