DATE: March 18, 2004

SUBJECT: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Coast Guard Small Business Non-Retaliation Policy

SOURCE: Federal Register, March 18, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 53, page 12864

AGENCIES: DHS, Coast Guard

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: The Coast Guard announces adoption of a small business non-retaliation policy: if a small business questions or lodges a complaint regarding a Coast Guard policy or action, or seeks outside help in dealing with a Coast Guard policy or action, the Coast Guard will not retaliate in any fashion.

EFFECTIVE DATE: February 11, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Though the Coast Guard is not soliciting comments on this policy, those wishing to submit comments may do so either: (1) through the Docket Management System website at http://dms.dot.gov; (2) by mail to the Docket Management Facility, (USCG-2004-17238), U.S. Department of Transportation, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590-0001; (3) by fax to the Docket Management Facility at 202-493-2251; or (4) by delivery to Room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rich Walter, Office of Regulations and Administrative Law (G-LRA), U.S. Coast Guard, 202-267-1534.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The Office of the National Ombudsman of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has asked each federal agency to adopt a policy that the agency will not retaliate against small businesses that question or complain about the way the agency does business. On February 11, 2004, the Commandant of the Coast Guard approved the following statement of Coast Guard policy:

      If you question or lodge a complaint regarding a Coast Guard policy or action, to us or to anyone else, or if you seek outside help in dealing with a Coast Guard policy or action, the Coast Guard will not retaliate against you in any fashion. The Coast Guard wants you to be able to comment, question, or lodge a complaint about our policies or actions without fear that we will retaliate or try to discourage future questions or complaints. If you think the Coast Guard has broken this promise, we will investigate, take appropriate action, and make sure that mistakes are not repeated. You may comment, ask questions, or file a complaint about Coast Guard policies or actions by contacting your local Coast Guard office, or you can also contact the Small Business Administration Office of the National Ombudsman at 888-REG-FAIR (734-3247), fax: 202-481-5719, email: ombudsman@sba.gov.
      Small businesses generally are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their field. If you need help determining whether or not your business qualifies as a "small business", contact the SBA's Office of the National Ombudsman using the information given in the preceding paragraph.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2004 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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