Small business liaisons for government agencies

Under Government Code Section 11148, the legislature intends to help small California businesses meet regulatory standards to protect the public. In addition, the legislature intends that each agency that significantly regulates small businesses appoints at least one individual to act as the small business contact with the role and responsibility of an ombudsman for that agency.

Section 11148.5 requires a governmental agency that significantly regulates or significantly influences small businesses to designate at least one individual to serve as a small business liaison. The agency must use existing staff and resources to carry out the duties of the small business contact person.

In addition, a governmental agency that significantly regulates or significantly affects small businesses shall publicize the position of the small business liaison in appropriate agency publications and by prominently displaying the name and contact information of the small business liaison on the agency’s Internet site , if the agency has a website.

An agency’s small business liaison is responsible for:

  • Receiving and responding to complaints received by the Agency from small businesses.
  • Providing technical advice and assistance to small businesses in resolving issues and questions related to compliance with agency regulations and relevant statutes.
  • Report small business concerns and, where appropriate, report recommendations to the agency secretary or head of agency.
  • Biannual review and update of the content of the agency’s website, accessible through the small business link on the California State Internet Portal.
  • Assisting the agency’s secretary, department head or senior officer, as appropriate, in ensuring that the relevant entity’s procurement and contracting processes are managed to meet or exceed the goal of 25 percent small business ownership, and development and sharing innovative procurement and contracting practices from the public and private sectors to improve opportunities for small businesses.

The Small Business Liaison is prohibited from advocating for or against the adoption, amendment or repeal of any regulation or interfering with any pending investigation or enforcement action.

A governmental agency that significantly regulates or significantly affects small businesses must provide the Office of Small Business Advocate in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the Department of General Services with the name and contact information of the person or persons serving as the liaison for Small Businesses have been nominated to the Agency and the occurrence of a vacancy in the position of Small Business Liaison within 15 working days of the vacancy arising.

Finally, the state authority must nominate a contact person for small businesses within three months of the publication of the vacancy.

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