The Regulatory Flexibility Act at 30
On September 21, 2010, the Small Business Administrations’ Office of Advocacy will be hosting a symposium on Regulatory Flexibility for Small Business. The event will highlight the 30 years of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and will examine the role that the RFA plays in ensuring policy decisions that create a healthy environment for small business growth and development.
Enacted in 1980, the RFA requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of proposed regulations on small entities and consider less burdensome alternatives that still reach the agencies’ regulatory goals.
At the RFA’s 25th anniversary, then Chief Counsel for Advocacy Thomas M. Sullivan said that the state of small business regulation has come a long way since the enactment of the Act. “The voice of small business is being heard and federal agencies are paying attention to their potential impact on small business. Nonetheless, monitoring federal agency compliance with the RFA is an ongoing challenge and new advances like electronic rulemaking are changing the way small business interacts with government,” said Sullivan at the time.
The upcoming symposium will feature panels that will examine the current state of the regulatory climate for small firms, including the cost of regulation on small firms. The Office of Advocacy will also present an RFA training session geared toward educating the public about what federal agencies are required to examine when they write regulations that affect small businesses. Last year, the Office of Advocacy claimed that it saved American small businesses $10.7 billion in foregone regulatory costs in fiscal year 2008, by helping federal agencies comply with the RFA.