Back in May I wrote a blog on the Small Business Administration’s Office of the Ombudsman. I had the opportunity to meet the National Ombudsman, Brian Castro, earlier this month. Brian is a busy man and spends a lot of his time trying to be the “go between” for small business to the various agencies. I met Brian at a Region VIII Regulatory Fairness Hearing. Several small businesses were offering their testimony of problems or issues regarding federal regulations and enforcement or compliance actions impacting small Business. There are ten regions across the country, like our Region VIII, and Brian regularly travels around to the regions to hear testimony and to talk with Small Businesses, trade associations and other members of the small business community.
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This is a continuation of the last blog relating issues that were discussed in the Colorado Springs NDIA panel discussion. I thought these issues were relevant enough to devote 2 blogs to cover the content.
Last week I attended a Rocky Mountain Chapter NDIA meeting in Colorado Springs. The meeting was a panel discussion about small business issues in government contracting and featured the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Ombudsman, Brian Castro. Brian is tasked with assisting small businesses that experience excessive or unfair regulatory enforcement actions involving a Federal agency. Essentially this means that the Ombudsman is a “go between” to help small businesses resolve issues with Federal agencies. Other members of the panel, moderated by the Colorado PTAC Executive Director Gary Henry, were Willie Franklin (CH2MHill – large business representative), David Hollenbach (DSoft Technologies – small business representative), Paul Aldrich (Small Business Specialist – Schriever AFB), Kim Diercks (Contracting Officer – USAFA) & Russ Farmer (representing NDIA & ReliAscent). The goal of the discussion was to create open dialog between small businesses, industry and government personnel. I found the panel discussion enlightening as it raised some issues I hadn’t heard before.
This week I attended another local NDIA meeting and learned something new that is helpful to all of small business. I think that is probably the largest benefit in belonging to organizations like the NDIA, you are continually exposed to other people in the same industry and you continually learn new things. In this case, I leaned something that could be of great value to small businesses that I wasn't aware even existed previously. I'm talking of the Office of National Ombudsman in the Small Business Administration (SBA).