[Federal Register: May 23, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 100)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 33249-33250]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23my00-1]                         

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

13 CFR Part 124

 
8(a) Business Development/Small Disadvantaged Business Status 
Determinations

AGENCY: Small Business Administration (SBA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule amends SBA's regulations governing the Small 
Disadvantaged Business (SDB) program. The rule establishes a formal 
reconsideration process for applicants declined certification as an 
SDB.

DATES: This rule is effective on May 23, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Terri Dickerson, Acting Assistant 
Administrator, Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Certification and 
Eligibility, 202-619-1727.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 10, 2000, SBA published in the 
Federal Register a proposed rule to amend SBA's regulations governing 
the Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) program. See 65 FR 12955. The 
rule proposed to grant applicants declined SDB certification, a 45-day 
period to request that the Assistant Administrator, Office of Small 
Disadvantaged Business Certification and Eligibility (AA/SDBCE) 
reconsider the decline. The proposed rule was designed to improve the 
efficiency and effectiveness of the certification process, by providing 
a formal mechanism to enable SDB applicants to immediately correct 
deficiencies in their SDB application.
    SBA received one timely comment concerning the proposed regulation. 
The commenter supported the proposed amendment, but requested that SBA 
indicate whether the reconsideration process would apply to pending SDB 
applications. SBA agrees that it should clarify the applicability of 
this final rule.
    As indicated above, this rule is effective on the date of 
publication. An immediate effective date will avoid any unnecessary 
delay in the implementation of the rule and any resulting interference 
in the efficient administration of the SDB certification process. To 
ensure that all current SDB applicants are afforded the same 
opportunity for a reconsideration of the AA/SDBCE's negative 
determination of SDB eligibility, this rule applies to all applications 
for SDB certification submitted on or after the effective date of this 
rule, to all SDB applications pending before a Private Certifier or the 
AA/SDBCE as of the rule's effective date, to any declined application 
where no appeal was filed at the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) 
and applications that are pending appeals at OHA.
    Since SBA received no other comments concerning the proposed rule, 
this final rule is identical in all respects to the proposed rule which 
SBA published on March 10. Under this rule, applicants denied SDB 
certification have 45 days from the date of the AA/SDBCE's written 
decision, to request that the AA/SDBCE reconsider the decline. As part 
of the request for reconsideration, applicants requesting 
reconsideration may submit additional evidence to show that they have 
overcome the reason(s) for the AA/SDBCE's denial. If the AA/SDBCE once 
again declines the application solely on grounds that were not included 
in the original denial letter, the AA/SDBCE is required to grant the 
applicant an additional 45-day period to request that the AA/SDBCE 
reconsider the new basis for denial. If, however, the AA/SDBCE 
determines that the applicant is ineligible for SDB certification for 
one or more of the same reason(s) as addressed in the original decline, 
the applicant is not entitled to a second reconsideration.
    This final rule does not affect an applicant's right under the 
current 13 CFR 124.1008(f)(3) to appeal the AA/SDBCE's decision denying 
eligibility nor does it affect an applicant's right with respect to 
ownership and control determinations of Private Certifiers. An 
applicant denied SDB certification based solely on reasons of social 
disadvantage, economic disadvantage, or disadvantaged ownership or 
control, continues to have the right to appeal to SBA's Office of 
Hearings and Appeals (OHA). The applicant also has the option to forego 
the reconsideration process and appeal the AA/SDBCE's initial decision 
to OHA, or to request reconsideration and if declined a second time 
solely on those grounds, to appeal the AA/SDBCE's reconsideration 
decision.

Compliance With Executive Orders 13132, 12988, and 12866, the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), and the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Ch. 35)

    This final rule does not constitute a significant regulatory action 
as defined by Executive Order 12866, in that it is not likely to have 
an annual economic effect of $100 million or more on the economy, 
result in a major increase in costs or prices, or have a significant 
adverse effect on competition or the United States economy. SBA 
certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., since it is a 
procedural amendment to the SDB certification process that would not 
impose any mandatory requirements on SDB applicants or deprive them of 
any existing rights under governing SBA regulations.
    For purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Public Law 
104-13), SBA certifies that this final rule imposes no new reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements on firms applying to be certified as an SDB. 
The rule grants certain SDB applicants the right to submit evidence to 
SBA that they are socially and economically disadvantaged, that they 
are citizens of the United States, and that they own and control the 
applicant concern. This rule does not require an SDB, once certified, 
to report any other information to SBA or to maintain additional 
records.
    For purposes of Executive Order 13132, SBA has determined that this 
rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a Federalism Assessment.
    For purposes of Executive Order 12988, SBA certifies that this rule 
is drafted, to the extent practicable, in accordance with the standards 
set forth in Section 3 of that Order.

[[Page 33250]]

List of Subjects in 13 CFR Part 124

    Government procurement, Minority businesses, Tribally owned 
concerns, Hawaiian Natives, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
and Technical assistance.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, SBA amends title 13, 
CFR as follows:

PART 124--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for 13 CFR part 124 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 634(b)(6), 636(j), 637(a), 637(d) and Pub. 
L. 99-661, Pub. L. 100-656, sec. 1207, Pub. L. 101-37, Pub. L. 101-
574, and 42 U.S.C. 9815.


    2. Section 124.1008 is amended by redesignating paragraphs (f)(3) 
and (f)(4) as paragraphs (f)(4) and (f)(5), respectively, and adding a 
new paragraph (f)(3) to read as follows:


Sec. 124.1008  How does a firm become certified as an SDB?

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (3)(i) If the AA/SDBCE declines the firm's application for SDB 
certification, the firm may request that the AA/SDBCE reconsider his or 
her initial decline by submitting a written request to the AA/SDBCE 
within 45 days of the date of the AA/SDBCE's decision. The applicant 
may provide any additional information and documentation pertinent to 
overcoming the reason(s) for the initial decline.
    (ii) The AA/SDBCE will issue a written decision within 30 days of 
receiving the applicant's request for reconsideration, if practicable. 
The AA/SDBCE may either approve the application, deny it on one or more 
of the same grounds as the initial decision, or deny it on other 
grounds. If the application is denied, the AA/SDBCE will explain why 
the applicant is not eligible for SDB certification and give specific 
reasons for the decline. If the AA/SDBCE declines the application 
solely on issues not raised in the initial decline, the applicant may 
request another reconsideration as if it were an initial decline. If 
the AA/SDBCE declines the application for one or more of the same 
reasons as addressed in the initial decline, the applicant is not 
entitled to a second reconsideration.
* * * * *

    Dated: May 12, 2000.
Aida Alvarez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 00-12690 Filed 5-22-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8025-01-U