SBREFA Process is Too Rushed, GAO Report Finds

More than two-thirds of small business entities that participated in the Consumer Financial Protection’s Bureau’s Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panels said that they feel the process is rushed, according to a report released today by the Government Accountability Office.

The Dodd-Frank Act requires the bureau to convene small business review panels for its rulemaking efforts that are expected to affect a substantial number of small entities. Once convened, the panel has 60 days to solicit input from small entities on a draft proposal and report its findings. The GAO report surveyed 57 of the 69 small-entity representatives from the four panels CFPB has held on its mortgage lending rules.

In general, small entity representatives reported not having sufficient time to prepare responses to the bureau’s requests for information or to reach out to other businesses in order to understand the full effects of the proposed rules under review. In addition, many said they struggled to find enough time to manage their day-to-day duties at their companies while preparing for the SBREFA panels.

While a majority of representatives agreed that on the whole, they felt like their views were at least partially considered in the rulemaking process, just 12 percent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the CFPB’s final rules. Many cited increased compliance costs as the key reason for their dissatisfaction.