Bullied By Big Brother? Now You've Got An Ally

A place to complain about unfair treatment by regulators

When Charles A. Garber's scientific research and materials company faced fines of $8,000 for possible violations of Department of Transportation rules on shipping hazardous materials, he did the expected: hired a lawyer and argued to the DOT that he was exempt. At the same time, though, Garber, owner of Structure Probe Inc. in West Chester, Pa., complained to the Small Business Administration's brand-new Regulatory Fairness Program, Regfair. Its ombudsman contacted the DOT to get the facts. Soon--after Garber agreed to change his procedures--the fines were dropped. Did the inquiry help? The DOT says no; the ombudsman says probably; and Garber says absolutely. In any case, he's glad he got to vent his spleen and help the program build a record on the department's treatment of small business.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.