[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 49 (Monday, March 14, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13532-13534]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5839]



13 CFR Chapter 1

[Docket No.: SBA-2011-0012]

Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under Executive 
Order 13563

AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration

ACTION: Request for information.


SUMMARY: As part of its implementation of Executive Order 13563, 
``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) is seeking comments and information from 
interested parties to assist the agency in reviewing its existing 
regulations to determine whether they should be streamlined, expanded, 
or withdrawn. The primary objectives of this review are to make SBA's 
regulatory program more cost effective and less burdensome on 
participants in the Agency's programs while continuing to promote 
economic growth, innovation, and job creation. SBA seeks public input 
on the design of a plan to use for periodic retrospective review of its 
regulations and an initial list of the rules to be reviewed under the 

DATES: Comments are requested on or before April 13, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number SBA-
2011-0012 using any of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Identify 
comments by ``Docket Number SBA-2011-0012, Regulatory Burden RFI,'' and 
follow the instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail: U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of the General 
Counsel, 409 Third Street, SW., Washington, DC 20416.

SBA will post comments on http://www.regulations.gov. If you wish to 
submit confidential business information (CBI) as defined in the User 
Notice at http://www.regulations.gov, please submit the information to 
Martin S. Conrey, Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and 
Appropriations, Office of General Counsel, 409 Third Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20416. Highlight the information that you consider to be 
CBI, and explain why you believe this information should be held 
confidential. SBA will review the information and make the final 
determination of whether it will publish the information or not.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin S. Conrey, Assistant General 
Counsel for Legislation and Appropriations, Office of the General 
Counsel, 409 Third Street, SW., Washington, DC 20416; telephone number: 
202-619-0638; fax number: 202-205-6846; e-mail address: 
[email protected].


I. General Information

    The mission of the Small Business Administration is to maintain and 
strengthen the Nation's economy by enabling the establishment and 
viability of small businesses, and by assisting in economic recovery of 
communities after disasters. In carrying out this mission, SBA has 
developed a regulatory policy that is implemented primarily through 
several core program offices: Office of Capital Access, Office of 
Disaster Assistance, Office of Entrepreneurial Development, Office of 
Government Contracting and Business Development, Office of 
International Trade, and Office of Investment and Innovation. SBA's 
regulations are codified at Title 13 Code of Federal Regulations, 
Chapter I, and consist of Parts 100 through 147.

II. Executive Order 13563

    On January 18, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13563, 
``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' that requires Federal 
agencies to seek more affordable, less intrusive means to achieve 
policy goals, and to give careful consideration to the benefits and 
costs of their regulations. The Executive Order also requires agencies 
to review existing rules to remove outdated regulations that stifle job 
creation and make the U.S. economy less competitive. Agencies are 
directed to develop a preliminary plan under which they will 
periodically review existing regulations to determine which should be 
maintained, modified, strengthened, or withdrawn in order to increase 
their effectiveness and decrease the burdens of the agency's regulatory 

III. Retrospective Review Plan

    In compliance with the executive order, SBA seeks help in designing 
the plan it will use for the periodic review of its existing 
regulations and an initial list of candidate rules for review. The 
Agency's goal is to create a systematic method for identifying those 
significant rules that are obsolete, unnecessary, unjustified, or 
counterproductive. The public is first asked to comment on how SBA 
should devise its preliminary plan, with a defined method and schedule, 
for identifying certain significant rules that may be obsolete, 
unnecessary, unjustified, excessively burdensome, or counterproductive. 
It would be helpful for comments to address how SBA could best evaluate 
and analyze regulations in order to expand on those that work and to 
modify, improve, or rescind those that do not. Comments might address 
how SBA can best obtain and consider accurate, objective information 
and data about the costs, burdens, and benefits of existing regulations 
and whether there are existing sources of data that SBA can use to 
evaluate the post-promulgation effects of regulations over time. SBA is 
particularly interested in the public's views about how well its 
current processes for reviewing regulations function and how those 
processes might be expanded or otherwise adapted to meet the objectives 
of Executive Order 13563. SBA is also interested in comments about 
factors that we should consider in setting priorities and selecting 
rules for review.
    SBA intends for its preliminary plan to include an initial list of 
candidate rules to review. SBA solicits suggestions for specific rules 
that should be on the list. In suggesting rules for review,

[[Page 13533]]

commenters might usefully address, among other things, how SBA can use 
the retrospective review process to achieve the following objectives: 
(1) Promote economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job 
creation; (2) eliminate outdated regulations; (3) lessen the burdens 
imposed on those directly or indirectly affected by our regulations, 
particularly small entities; (4) increase the benefits provided to the 
public by our regulations, and improve the cost-benefit balance of our 
regulations; (5) eliminate duplicative or overlapping regulations; (6) 
reduce paperwork by eliminating duplication, lessening frequency, 
allowing electronic submission, standardizing forms, exempting small 
entities, or other means; (7) eliminate conflicts and inconsistencies 
in SBA's regulations; (8) simplify or clarify language in regulations; 
(9) revise regulations to address changes in technology, economic 
conditions, or other factors; (10) determine if matters in an existing 
regulation could be better handled fully by trade organizations or 
participants without Federal regulations; (11) reduce burdens by 
incorporating industry consensus standards into regulations; (12) 
reconsider regulations that were based on scientific or other 
information that has been discredited or superseded; and (13) expand 
regulations that are insufficient to address their intended objective 
or obtain additional benefits.
    Comments should focus on regulations that have demonstrated 
deficiencies. Comments that rehash debates over recently issued rules 
will be less useful. The public should focus on rule changes that will 
achieve a broad public impact, rather than an individual, personal or 
corporate benefit. Where feasible, comments should reference a specific 
regulation, by Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) citation, and provide 
SBA information on what needs fixing and why. Comments do not 
necessarily have to address how to fix the perceived problem, though 
such comments are welcome. Lastly, we also want to stress that this 
review is for existing rules; the public should not use this process to 
submit comments on proposed rules.
    With these factors in mind, SBA is contemplating focusing its 
retrospective review on the rules that govern the following programs: 
Small Business Investment Companies (Part 107); Surety Bond Guarantee 
(Part 115); Business Loans (Part 120); Disaster Loans (Part 123); 
Government Contracting (Part 125); and HUBZone (Part 126).
    SBA has just completed a comprehensive review of the regulations 
for the 8(a) Business Development/Small Disadvantaged Business program 
(Part 124) pursuant to section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 
U.S.C. 601, et seq. The final rule reflects an extensive public 
participation process, including a lengthy notice and comment period, 
several public hearings in diverse areas of the country, and 
consultations with various groups. See, 76 FR 8221 (Feb. 11, 2011). SBA 
is currently conducting a similar review of its size regulations (Part 
121) and will be soliciting specific comments on those regulations as 
they are developed and published in the Federal Register. In light of 
these comprehensive reviews, pursuant to the requirements of section 
610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, SBA does not intend to include 
these two sets of regulations in the retrospective review under 
Executive Order 13563.

IV. Request for Information

    Consistent with the Agency's commitment to public participation in 
the rulemaking process, SBA is issuing this Request for Information 
(RFI) to solicit views from the public on how best to design a plan to 
conduct its retrospective analysis of existing SBA rules, and identify 
those rules that should be included in the plan for possible 
modification, streamlining, expansion or repeal. While SBA promulgates 
rules in accordance with the law and to the best of its capability, it 
is difficult to be certain of the consequences of a rule, including its 
costs and benefits, until it has been tested. Therefore, SBA invites 
interested parties to submit data that documents the costs, burdens, 
and benefits of existing regulations. The Agency believes that members 
of the public are likely to have useful information and perspectives on 
the benefits and burdens of existing regulations, and can assist SBA in 
identifying and prioritizing those rules that are most in need of 
    SBA is accepting your comments from now through April 1, 2011. 
Although the Agency will not be able to respond to every individual 
comment, your input is valued and your ideas merit careful 
consideration. By late May or early June, you will have the opportunity 
to review SBA's retrospective review plan on our Open Government 
webpage, http://sba.gov/opengovernment, as well as an initial list of 
regulations that we plan to review first.
    As you comment, SBA requests that you keep these key considerations 
in mind:
     SBA must uphold its mission to strengthen America's 
economy by providing tools to help grow businesses, create jobs, and 
help victims recover from disasters.
     SBA's plan will be tailored to reflect its resources, 
rulemaking history, and volume.
     A number of laws or executive orders already direct the 
Agency to regularly review certain regulations. Your input is requested 
on developing a plan that is integrated with those existing 

V. List of Questions for Commenters

    The list of questions below is designed to identify issues that 
might arise in the development of a preliminary plan for the 
retrospective analysis of the agency's regulations. This non-exhaustive 
list is meant to assist in the formulation of public comments and is 
not intended to restrict the issues that may be addressed. SBA requests 
that commenters identify the specific regulation at issue and explain, 
in as much detail as possible, why the regulation should be modified, 
streamlined, expanded, or withdrawn, as well as specific suggestions of 
ways SBA can better achieve its regulatory objectives.
    (1) How can SBA identify those rules that might be modified, 
streamlined, expanded, or repealed?
    (2) What factors should the agency consider in selecting and 
prioritizing rules for review?
    (3) Are there regulations that have become unnecessary, or 
ineffective, and, if so, what are they?
    (4) Are there rules that can be withdrawn without impairing SBA's 
regulatory programs and, if so, what are they?
    (5) Are there rules that have become outdated and, if so, how can 
they be modernized to better accomplish their regulatory objectives?
    (6) Are there rules that are still necessary, but which have not 
operated as well as expected such that a modified, stronger, or 
slightly different approach is justified?
    (7) Are there regulations, or regulatory processes that are 
unnecessarily complicated or could be streamlined to achieve regulatory 
objectives more efficiently?
    (8) Are there any technological developments that can be leveraged 
to modify, streamline, or repeal any existing regulatory requirements?
    (9) Are there any SBA regulations that are not tailored to impose 
the least burden on the public?
    (10) How can SBA best obtain and consider accurate, objective 

[[Page 13534]]

and data about the costs, burdens, and benefits of existing 
    (11) Are there existing sources of data SBA can use to evaluate the 
post-promulgation effects of regulations over time?
    (12) Are there regulations that are working well that can be 
expanded or used as a model to fill gaps in other SBA regulatory 
    SBA notes that this RFI is issued solely for information and 
planning purposes and that the Agency is not bound to any further 
actions related to the comments submitted. All submissions will be made 
publically available on http://www.regulations.gov.
    All comments received are considered part of the public record and 
made available for public inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying 
information (e.g. your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 5(b)(6).

    Dated: March 8, 2011.
Sara D. Lipscomb,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2011-5839 Filed 3-11-11; 8:45 am]